Bangladesh’s first metro train completes test run

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The electric train crosses 500 metres with six coaches at the Diabari depot

The country’s first electric train completed its maiden test run in Dhaka’s Uttara on Tuesday.

It crossed 500 metres with six coaches during the trial run at the Diabari depot around 12 noon at a speed of 5km per hour, according to media reports.

A driver from the Kawasaki-Mitsubishi Consortium drove the Mass Rapid Transit Line-6 (MRT-6) train to the unloading zone from a workshop. When commissioned, the trains will run at a speed of 100km/hr.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader virtually joined the event organized by Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd.

According to the minister, the average progress of the project is 63.2% while the progress of the construction work from Uttara to Agargaon section, being implemented under the first phase, is 84.9%.

The minister stated that the progress of the second phase (Agargaon to Motijheel) was 59.7% while the overall progress in procurement of electrical and mechanical system, rolling stock, and depot equipment was 54.4%.

The project is being implemented at a cost of Tk22,000 crore.

Once operational, a train will be carrying 60,000 people every hour, significantly reducing travel time. The route will have 16 stations.
The first shipment of metro rail coaches from Japan had arrived in Dhaka on April 21.
The Kawasaki-Mitshubishi Consortium of Japan started the construction of the 24 sets of the metro train with six coaches each, and another rescue train for the MRT-6 project in April 2019, under a Tk2,870 crore deal signed in 2017. The deal is valid until December next year.
The first train was in April last year and the second in September. The coaches are made of reusable aluminium alloy and bulletproof glass.

Besides, the compartments, weighing 22-28 tons, are about three metres in width and 20 metres in length, and have a long-line seating arrangement. Two of the six coaches are air-conditioned and each coach has four doors for passengers.

Also, regenerative electric brakes are being used in the metro trains which will be operated using an automated radio communication system, even without any driver.

A total of 13.80km of the viaduct has been installed with the rail track installation inside the depot already completed.

The government hopes to begin operation on the Uttara-Agargaon route by the end of this year, but it may face delay due to the latest Covid-19 upsurge across the country.

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