The Bangladesh Railway (BR) plans to conduct the first trial run of a train on the newly-constructed Dohazari-Cox's Bazar track in mid-October, with the target of officially opening the over 100-kilometre corridor by the end of the month.
This will bring the southeastern beach town Cox's Bazar under the country's rail network via the Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar route.
Officials have set a target to complete all necessary track placement work for the Tk 180.34 billion project by October 15, as there are still five to six kilometres of work pending.
"We are planning to conduct the trial run from Chattogram's Dohazari Station to Cox's Bazar on October 15. However, the date may be adjusted by one or two days depending on the situation," Mohammad Mofijur Rahman, project director of the Dohazari-Cox's Bazar train track, told the FE.
He said the commercial operation will begin after the inauguration by the prime minister, although the specific date for the inauguration has not yet been finalised.
The project is one of the government's fast-track initiatives to incorporate Cox's Bazar into the railway network and establish connections with the Trans-Asian Railway corridor.
The project office has already requested a date from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), suggesting any day at the end of October for the formal inauguration.
The prime minister is scheduled to inaugurate the Karnaphuli tunnel in Chattogram on October 28.
While both the trial run and commercial operation from the port city Chattogram to the beach town Cox's Bazar have been planned, the project office is still in the process of completing stations and bridges.
Besides, the design of the train track, which was damaged during the flash flood this monsoon, will also be modified to protect the embankment from future natural calamities.