Nurul Islam Sujan, Minister for Bangladesh Railways, along with Sardar Shahadat Ali, Additional Director General (Operations), Bangladesh Railways visited Integral Coach Factory (ICF), manufacturer of rail coaches located in Perambur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
They also visited the production facilities at Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) Shed of ICF. Sujan also inspected special coaches made by ICF such as LHB Vistadome coaches, LHB AC 2 tier and 3 tier coaches, and Airconditioned Self Propelled Inspection Cars (SPIC) therein.
It is pertinent to note here that ICF had, in the past, exported various types of coaches such as MG First Class, MG Dining Car, MG Second Class, MG Power Car, MG Postal, and Parcel Van, etc., to a value of about Rs.100 crores.
During discussions with A.K. Agarwal, GM, ICF, and other officials, Nurul Islam Sajan said that since Bangladesh has now taken up the project of converting its Meter Gauge tracks to Broad Gauge, the LHB Coaches from ICF would be of great help in modernizing Bangladesh Railways.
He expressed the hope that Bangladesh Railways will explore the possibility of importing train sets for mass commutation such as DEMU similar to the ones that were exported to Sri Lanka and Nepal by ICF recently. He added that a team of officials from Bangladesh Railways would soon visit ICF to further the process of export of coaches from ICF to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Railway Minister said that the cooperation between Indian Railways and Bangladesh Railways has a long history and ICF has played a vital role in the development of railways in Bangladesh. He also recalled the sacrifices of the Indian soldiers in getting freedom for Bangladesh and Bangladesh would maintain the relationship forever. He said that he was impressed with the Vande Bharat Coaches and other coaches made by ICF.
Earlier, before the discussions, an impressive presentation on ICF was given to the Minister for Bangladesh Railways by S. Srinivas, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, ICF.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujon on Wednesday flagged off ‘Mitali Express’ between New Jalpaiguri (India) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) via video conferencing.
This is the third passenger train between the two nations that was flagged off from Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Vaishnaw called the Mitali Express “yet another milestone” in bolstering the friendship between the two nations.
“The relationship between India and Bangladesh is based upon our shared heritage, our shared present and our shared future. The development that we have in both the countries is today accelerated in a very big way by the warm friendship between the two nations at all levels,” he said.
“Mitali Express will be yet another milestone in increasing this friendship, in strengthening this bond, in improving this relationship,” the Railway Minister added.
The Union Minister recalled India’s aid to the neighbouring country during the COVID pandemic and said that India had transported about 4,000 tonnes of liquid oxygen and that was another small little contribution to the friendship between the two countries.
Railways Minister of Bangladesh Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujon while speaking on the occasion remembered the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives for the liberation of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan).
The Minister also mentioned about his government’s plan to convert all railway tracks to broad gauge to be at par with neighbouring countries.
The New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka Cantonment train, bearing number 13132, will run two days a week, i.e., on Sunday and Wednesday and for the return journey, train no 13131, Dhaka Cantonment-New Jalpaiguri, Mitali Express will run every Monday and Thursday.
The train will cover the distance of around 513km between New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Dhaka Cantonment in Bangaldesh in nine hours.
As of now, the train will run with four air-conditioned cabin coaches, and four air-conditioned chair cars and will be hauled by a diesel locomotive.
Suvendhu Kumar Chaudhury, DRM, Katihar division of Northeast Frontier Railway said, “We are ready to start the services, the train is ready with maximum facilities. Around 15-20 passengers have already booked their tickets for the first journey.” (ANI)