BY TC News Desk
Agartala: August 22. In a significant development, the Akhaura-Agartala railway project has achieved a major milestone, bringing the dream of enhanced cross-border connectivity between Bangladesh and India closer to reality. On Tuesday, a specially designed track car successfully traversed the entire stretch of the railway, signaling progress toward the upcoming test train run.
The track car journey commenced at 12 noon from Gangasagar railway station in Akhaura, Brahmanbaria. By 1:15 PM, it had reached the Tripura border zero line in the Shivnagar area of Akhaura, underscoring the successful laying of the track along this section.
Officials involved in the project confirmed that while the test train is scheduled to run on a Tuesday, it will take a few more days to finalize all necessary preparations. Anticipation is building as the possible inauguration date of September 9 approaches, with both countries’ Prime Ministers set to officiate the momentous event.
The Akhaura-Agartala railway route is of paramount importance, and its completion is being prioritized with exceptional efforts. The project has witnessed intensive work, even being likened to wartime activity due to the urgency attached to its completion.
The track car, responsible for laying stones on the railway line, has been operational on the route for several days. However, a special achievement was marked when the lightweight track car successfully reached the zero line of the border at Shivnagar area.
The project’s contractor, Texmeco Rail & Engineering Ltd. based in New Delhi, India, expressed optimism regarding the progress. Sharat Sharma, the Bangladesh head of the organization, noted that around six and a half kilometers of track have been installed in the Akhaura section. While some final tasks remain before the train can be operational, he is hopeful that the entire railway line will be ready within the next ten days.
Abu Zafar Mia, the chief engineer of Bangladesh Railway (East) and the project director for the Akhaura-Agartala railway line, confirmed that the rail track has been laid up to the border. With fittings completed, efforts are now focused on ballasting and leveling to ensure operational readiness. The trial run of the rail locomotive is expected to take place by the end of the month, with a few pending tasks remaining on the immigration building.
The Akhaura-Agartala railway project spans ten and a half kilometers from Akhaura to Nishchintpur in Tripura, India. Notably, six and a half kilometers of this railway line are situated in Bangladesh, while the remaining four kilometers lie within the Agartala section. The project is anticipated to significantly enhance trade and passenger connectivity between the neighboring countries.