After the journey to Cox’s Bazar through ‘Daizzar Tal’, the journey to Cox’s Bazar is going to start by taking the train. And the biggest obstacle in this journey is the 93-year-old 239-meter-long Kalurghat bridge on the Karnaphuli river. Kalurghat Bridge will be trialled with three engines on Saturday after three months of renovation work. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) expert team and senior railway officials will be present in this trial. If the trial is successful, then the train ride to Cox’s Bazar will also be successful.
Admitting the experimental running of railway engines over the Kalurghat bridge, Chief Engineer of the Eastern Railway, Abu Zafar Mia, told Desh Panwar, ‘Finally we are going to lift the engine (loco) over the Kalurghat bridge.’
When asked how much weight the engine will lift in the trial first, he said, ‘I can lift the engine, that’s the big thing. But we will give trials throughout the day. BUET will also have an expert team. It will be checked whether there is any problem or not.’
However, talking to other officials of the project, it is known that the trial of the Kalurghat bridge will be completed with three engines. The 2200 series 10.5 ton axle load engine will be the first on the bridge. If this engine is successful, the 2900 series 11.96 ton axle load engine will be raised. And the latest 3100 series 15 ton axle load engine will be upgraded. As such, even though the experimental operation started at 10 am with these three engines, it will continue throughout the day. Trains will be operated on Cox’s Bazar route with this 3100 model engine.
After the movement of trains through the Kalurghat bridge became dangerous, the renovation work of the bridge started from August 1. The renovation is supposed to be completed in three months by September, but the trial is starting today Saturday after the work was completed yesterday. Before this, extensive renovation of the bridge was started in two phases in 1986-87 and 2004-05. Both renovations involved changing the bridge deck and laying new rails. Since general vehicles are also transported through this bridge, the Pichdhalai route is made here. This time too, all the pavements of the bridge were opened and installed anew. Almost all the ironwork has been replaced except for the pillars and girders. Engineers said that its strength has increased a lot. Initially, it is known that the train can be operated at a speed of 60 km per hour.
Meanwhile, the railway minister’s predetermined trial train is not running on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar route. It was supposed to happen on November 7. In this regard, the director of the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar railway project, Mohammad Sabuktagin told Desh Panwar, ‘Railway inspector Ruhul Quader will inspect from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar with eight coaches tomorrow Sunday and Monday. Since the Prime Minister’s program has been brought forward by a day, the Railway Minister’s trial run is no longer taking place. On November 11, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the operation of trains on the Cox’s Bazar route.
Meanwhile, when asked whether all the works of the railway line have been completed even though it was inaugurated on November 11, Mohammad Sabuktagin said, “All the works for running the train have been completed.” But there is more work to be done. Our signaling work is not yet complete.’
It is to be noted that if the Kalurghat Bridge is operational, there will be no more obstacles in the operation of trains from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar via Chittagong. Meanwhile, the work of laying 100 km dual gauge railway line from Chittagong’s Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar has been completed. 40 km long area from Chittagong to Dohazari has meter gauge railway line. Among these 40 km is the 239 m Kalurghat bridge over the Karnaphuli river.