Handing over of 20 Broad Gauge Locomotives to Bangladesh চলমান ঘটনাবলী

Handing over of 20 Broad Gauge Locomotives to Bangladesh

High Commission of India


Press Release

Handing over of 20 Broad Gauge Locomotives to Bangladesh

1.      In a handing over ceremony held today, 20 Broad Gauge (BG) locomotives were handed over at Darshana-Gede Interchange Point and virtually flagged off by the Indian Minister of Railways, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, with Bangladesh Minister of Railways, Md. Nurul Islam Sujan receiving them on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.

2.     The handing over of these 20 BG locomotives, under grant assistance from the Government of India, fulfills an important commitment made during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to India in September 2022. These locomotives will help augment the capacity and efficiency of Bangladesh Railway for handling the growing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh.

3.     Speaking on the occasion, Indian Minister of Railways Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted that India and Bangladesh historically share similar railway systems and therefore are naturally complementary in this sector. He emphasized the immense potential for cooperation between the two railways and expressed hope that the handing over of 20 BG locos as a token of friendship from India would add to the ease and comfort of rail travel for the people of Bangladesh. The grant of these locos to Bangladesh is a fine example of the sharing of resources and expertise for growth and development.

4.     Indian Minister of Railways Shri Vaishnaw added that enhancing multi-modal connectivity was a priority for both Governments and that railway in particular, had the potential to transform the economies of both countries as well as the entire sub-region. He noted that India-Bangladesh relations had scaled new heights in recent years and that further boosting rail connectivity was mutually recognized as a key driver for achieving efficient and eco-friendly growth. Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner with projects worth nearly USD 10 billion in the portfolio. Rail connectivity is one of the key components of the bilateral development partnership, with railway sector projects of over USD 300 million under Indian Line of Credit having been completed already, and projects worth over USD 1.69 billion at various stages of implementation. As a reflection of the deep cultural connect between the people of the two countries, there are three cross-border train services operating between Kolkata-Dhaka, Kolkata-Khulna and Dhaka-New Jalpaiguri. With a focus on increasing cross-border connectivity and bilateral trade, five of the pre-1965 railway links have been restored and these are playing a critical role in movement of passengers and goods.

5.      For future collaboration, several projects have been identified which underscore the importance of greater bilateral and sub-regional connectivity through rail. There are also projects underway to restore the remaining pre-1965 rail links and create new rail links to augment connectivity between India’s Northeast and Bangladesh. Government of India is also committed to undertaking training programmes for Bangladesh Railway personnel for skill development, and to undertaking projects for digitization of Bangladesh Railway operations, including for passenger and freight management systems.

6.      The transformational nature of rail based movement, was particularly noted during the challenging pandemic period. Parcel train traffic was augmented for quick mass transportation of essential items and the first parcel train between India and Bangladesh moved in July 2020. Since then, bilateral trade via rail has seen consistent growth. There is interchange of nearly 100 cargo trains per month and approximately 2.67 MT cargo was supplied to Bangladesh by rail during the last financial year. As a COVID response measure, Indian Railway's Oxygen Express transported Liquid Medical Oxygen to Bangladesh in railway containers in July 2021 and a total of 20 Oxygen Express Trains were operated to support of Bangladesh's fight against COVID.

7.     Indian Minister of Railways Shri Vaishnaw highlighted that under Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi’s “Gati Shakti” initiative, several projects are being taken up in India to enhance cargo handling capacity and efficiency and in this context, projects can also be taken up in Bangladesh for upgradation of cargo shades, loop-lines, signaling systems and container terminals. This would help further reduce logistics costs and make Bangladesh more competitive, thereby bringing significant economic dividends for both countries. He also offered to share the Indian experience with electrification of the railway network with Bangladesh, as electrification was the way forward to enhance efficiency and reduce carbon footprint.

8.     Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Shri Pranay Verma joined the virtual ceremony from Rail Bhabhan in Dhaka while Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mr. Md. Mustafizur Rahman joined the virtual ceremony from Rail Bhawan in Delhi. Senior officials from Indian Railways, Bangladesh Railways and Ministry of Railways of Bangladesh, were also present at the ceremony.


23 May 2023