Bangladesh Railway
Native name
বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ে
IndustryRailways and locomotives
PredecessorPakistan Eastern Railway
Founded15 November 1862; 160 years ago (1862-11-15)
Area served
Key people
Md. Quamrul Ahsan
(Director General of Bangladesh Railway)[1]
Revenue 8,002 million[2] (2014)
Decrease - 8,015 million[2] (2014)
OwnerGovernment of Bangladesh
Number of employees
27,535[3] (2015)
DivisionsEast Zone and West Zone
Bangladesh Rail
National railwayMinistry of Railways
Major operatorsBangladesh Railway
Ridership65 million (2014)[2]
Passenger km8,135 million[2]
Freight2.52 million tonnes[2]
System length
Total3,600 kilometres (2,200 mi)
Double track1,600 kilometres (990 mi)
Track gauge
Metre gauge2,025 kilometres (1,258 mi)
Broad gauge1,575 kilometres (979 mi)
Dual gauge1,600 kilometres (990 mi)
No. bridges3,650[2]
546 (Major)
3,104 (Minor)
Longest bridgePadma Bridge (dual gauge, 6,250 metres (20,510 ft))
Bangabandhu Bridge (dual gauge, 4,800 metres (15,700 ft))
Hardinge Bridge (broad gauge, 1,849 metres (6,066 ft))
Meghna Bridge (dual gauge, 1,024 metres (3,360 ft))
No. stations498

Bangladesh Railway (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ে) is the state-owned rail transport agency of Bangladesh. It operates and maintains all railways in the country, and is overseen by the Directorate General of Bangladesh Railway. The Bangladesh Railway is governed by the Ministry of Railways and the Bangladesh Railway Authority. Its reporting mark is "BR".[4]

The Bangladesh Railway system has a total length of 3,600 kilometres (2,200 mi). In 2009, Bangladesh Railway had 34,168 employees.[5] In 2014, Bangladesh Railway carried 65 million passengers and 2.52 million tonnes of freight. The railway made 8,135 million passenger-kilometres and 677 million tonne-kilometres.[2] Bangladesh Railway in Dhaka has signed an agreement with Progress Rail to procure 40 diesel locomotives.[6]


Rail transport in Bangladesh (the then British India) began on 15 November 1862, when 53.11 km of 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) (broad gauge) line was opened between Darshana in Chuadanga District and Jogotee in Kushtia District. On 1 January 1871, extension of Darshana - Jogotee Railway line up to Goalanda by Eastern Bengal Railway.[7] On 4 January 1885, a further 14.98 km 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) (metre gauge) line was opened. In 1891, the Bengal Assam Railway was constructed with the assistance of the government. It was later run by the Bengal Assam Railway Company.

On 1 July 1895, two sections of metre gauge railway were constructed by English railway companies. One connected Chattogram and Comilla 150.6 kilometres (93.6 mi). The other connected Laksam Upazila and Chandpur 51.2 kilometres (31.8 mi).[8]

In 1947, at the time of the Partition of India, the Bengal Assam Railway was divided into two parts. The 2,603.92 km of track located in East Pakistan, came under the control of the central Government of Pakistan. On 1 February 1961, the Eastern Bengal Railway was renamed the Pakistan Eastern Railway. In 1962, control of the Pakistan Eastern Railway was transferred to the Government of East Pakistan. On 9 June 1962, by order of the president, the Pakistan Eastern Railway management was assumed by a Railway Board.[8]

As of 2005, the total length of the Bangladesh Railway is 3,600 kilometres (2,200 mi).[9] There was 1,225 kilometres (761 mi) of broad gauge track (mostly in the western region), 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) of metre gauge track (mostly in the central and eastern regions) and 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) of dual gauge track.[10] In 1998, the Jamuna Bridge was built to connect the previously divided east and west rail networks in dual gauge.[11] Bangladesh is currently[when?] converting its railway system to dual gauge system, to enable both broad gauge & metre gauge trains to run; it is also developing extensive railway transport relations with India. With Bangladesh & Indian Government working side by side, at least 9 International Rail Transit System (IRTS) have come up presently in Bangladesh. They are as follows: - 1. Kolkata-Darsana-Iswardi-Dhaka; 2. Kolkata-Bangaon-Jessore-Khulna; 3. New Jalpaiguri-Haldibari-Chilahati-Iswardi-Dhaka; 4. Changrabandha-Burimari-Lalmonirhat-Teesta-Kaunia-Parbatipur; 5. Parbatipur-Dinajpur-Birol-Radhikapur-Raiganj-Barsoi; 6. Badarpur-Karimganj-Maishasan-Shabazpur-Kulaura-Sylhet/Chittagong; 7. Agartala-Akhaura-Dhaka/Chittagong; 8. Old Malda-Singhabad-Rohanpur-Rajshahi; 9. Eklakhi-Balurghat-Hili. While route 1, 2, 3, 5 & 8 are already operational, route 4 & 6 are being restored with route 7 & 9 currently[when?] nearing construction completion.

In 2010, funding was received for a bridge over the Titas River.[12] In September 2010, the Government of Bangladesh approved ten rail development projects costing 19·9 billion Bangladeshi taka including plans for new tracks and rolling stock.[13] To bolster the bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh, the Ministry of Railways in India has supplied 20 Broad Gauge (BG) locomotives to its eastern neighbor, thus contributing to the railway infrastructure of Bangladesh. These locomotives have been appropriately modified by the Indian side to align with the requirements of Bangladesh Railway. The provision of these locomotives will aid in managing the growing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh, thereby supporting the enhancement of its railway system. It is worth noting that previously, in June 2020, the Indian Government had granted 10 locomotives to Bangladesh, further contributing to the improvement of its railways.[14]

In 2011, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, officiated at the start of construction of a link which would cross several rivers to reach Cox's Bazar. The 100 kilometres (62 mi) of dual gauge line started from the railhead at Dohazari, southeast of Chittagong. The plan was to reach Satkania, Dulahazra, Chakarin, Edgaon, Ramu and Cox's Bazar, with four major river bridges and a 30 kilometres (19 mi) branch from Ramu to Gundum. In 2013, the Chhattogram Circular Railway was completed.

In 2015, construction of a 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) branch to Agartala, Tripura in Northeast India commenced.[15] In 2017, land acquisition took place to facilitate the construction.[16]

In 2022, construction of 6,250 metres (20,510 ft) long Padma Bridge was completed & the bridge was thrown open after inauguration by Sheikh Hasina Wazed, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to connect Dhaka with Faridpur via Narayanganj.


From the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 until 1982, the railway was governed by a Railway Board. It then came under the Railway Division of the Ministry of Communications. The Director General of the railway was the Secretary of the Railway Division of the Ministry of Communications. In 1995, governance of the railway was assumed by the "Bangladesh Railway Authority" which was chaired by the Minister of Railways.[17] Inspections are made by an external government authority.

The features of Bangladesh Railway include the usage of several gauges and the division of the rail system by the Jamuna River, Brahmaputra into the Western Zone and the Eastern Zone of operations. Crossing the river is one bridge, the Jamuna Bridge which was completed in 2003.

The East Zone and the West Zone each have a General Manager who answers to the Director General of the Railway Authority. Each zone has its own raft of departments for operation, maintenance, and finances. Each zone is divided into two divisions with departments for personnel, transportation, commercial, finance mechanical, way and works signalling, telecommunication, electrical and medical services.

The East Zone has a workshop division in Pahartali. The West Zone's workshop division is in Saidpur. The railway has a central locomotive workshop for broad and metre gauge locomotives in Parbatipur. It also has a Railway Training Academy.[17] There are diesel workshops in Pahartali, Dhaka and Parbatipur. Maintenance on coaches and wagons is carried out at the "C and W" shop in Saidpur, Nilphamari and at the "C and W" shop Pahartali.


Bangladesh Railway has a total of 25,083 regular employees as of 2020.[18]

In 1974, they were represented by three registered trade unions, but by 1999 that had multiplied to eight. According to Chittagong University professor of management Md. Abu Taher, this proliferation weakened the unions and undermined solidarity among the workers.[19]

Bangladesh Railway began recruiting women into its top ranks in 2001.[20] Salma Khatun became their first female train driver in 2004 when she joined as an assistant locomaster (ALM). As of 2015, the railway employed 788 ALMs. By 2022, the number of female train drivers had risen to 19.[21] Because of the lack of overnight facilities, and even toilets, for female staff, most prefer the shorter Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) routes over long distance ones.[21][22] As of 2019, a total of about two dozen women worked in the railway's mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, stores, traffic, and signals divisions.[20]

Rolling stock


Bangladesh Railway Class 2900 locomotive

Main article: Locomotives of Bangladesh


Bangladesh Railway's fleet of diesel locomotives includes both diesel-electric and diesel-hydraulic machines.[23] In 2007, there were 77 broad gauge diesel-electric locomotives. In 2012, Bangladesh Railway ordered 16 new broad gauge locomotives of 3100 hp from Banaras Locomotive Works, India.[24] There were also 208 metre gauge diesel-electric locomotives including those of classes 2000, 2600, 2700, and 2900. The total number was 285.

In 2019, 40 EMD GT42ACLs were ordered from Progress Rail.[25]

On 27 July 2020 and 24 May 2023 Indian Railways (IR) handed over 10 and 20 WDM-3D diesel locomotives to Bangladesh Railway under its "grant assistance" plan. The vehicles cost an estimated ₹600m ($US 8m) to manufacture. [26]


A small number of steam locomotives are preserved in Bangladesh.[27]

Location Builder Wheel
Dhaka Railway HQ Nippon 2-8-2 Metre gauge
Saidpur Works W. G. Bagnall 2-4-0T 2 ft 6 in (762 mm)
Saidpur Works Vulcan Foundry 0-6-0 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Paksey Railway HQ Vulcan Foundry? 2-4-0T 2 ft 6 in (762 mm)

The 762 mm gauge locomotives are from the Rupsa – Bagerhat railway which was the only 762 mm gauge line in East Pakistan in 1947. It was changed to 1,676 mm gauge in 1970.

Freight and cargo services

As a national carrier, Bangladesh Railway is obliged to carry essential commodities such as grain and fertiliser to remote parts of Bangladesh at discounted rates. Bangladesh Railway transports containers from the Port of Chittagong to Dhaka Inland Container Depot, where there are customs facilities.[28] The rolling stock to carry containers was manufactured from existing stock. On 5 August 1991, a container-only train came into service. A goods train operates from Singhabad and Petrapole, India to Rohanpur and Benapole, Bangladesh.[29]


Passenger services

Parabat Express at Sylhet railway station

Railway is a principal mode of transport in Bangladesh. In the 2005 financial year, 42 million passengers travelled on the Bangladesh Railway.[32] Inter-city services, contribute to over seventy percent of Bangladesh Railway's revenue.[32] In 2014, the railway owned 312 broad gauge coaches and 1,164 metre gauge coaches.[2]

In 2017, Bangladesh Railway operated 90 inter-city trains (up & down), 52 mail or express trains, 64 commuter trains (DEMU), 135 shuttle or local trains and 2 international services.[33]

Two times per week, a passenger train operates a service to India. In April 2008, the Maitri Express between Dhaka and Kolkata came into operation on the Gede – Darsana route 400 kilometres (250 mi).[34] On 9 November 2017, a new weekly train, the Bandhan Express, came into operation between Khulna and Kolkata via Petrapole and Benapole 176 kilometres (109 mi).[35] Recently in 2021, another new weekly train, the Mitali Express, came into operation between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka via Parbatipur and Iswardi 500 kilometres (310 mi).

Tickets for Bangladesh Railway services are available at all stations. Most stations are computerized and tickets which can be purchased within four days of departure, are printed. Full refunds (excluding clerical charges) are available up until two days before departure. The railway reserves ten percent of tickets for online sales. Of these tickets, fifteen percent are reserved for mobile phone sales.[36]


Accommodation classes

AC Sleeper coach of Sonar Bangla Express

Bangladesh Railway has three main passenger classes, "Air conditioned", "First" and "Second". Most trains do not provide the "Air conditioned" class. On inter-city and long-distance trains, a restaurant car and a power car are included at the centre of the train. All inter-city trains are partially air-conditioned, feature padded leather seats and provide passengers with on-demand sheets, pillows, blankets, as well as meals in a dining car. Some diesel–electric trains provides commuter services.[39]

Class Description
Tapanukul (তাপানুকূল)
First class AC
This is the most expensive class. This air-conditioned coach is used only on popular Inter-City routes. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation, ample leg room and have privacy features like personal coupes.
First class (প্রথম শ্রেণী) This class is relatively luxurious, but not air-conditioned; has sleeping berths, and ample leg room.
First class Chair
(প্রথম শ্রেণী চেয়ার)
Chair car or day coach with a total of five seats in a row on broad gauge trains and four seats in a row on metre gauge trains, used for daily travel.
2nd Class-Shovon Chair
(২য় শ্রেণী-শোভন চেয়ার)
The 2nd Class Shovon Chair is basically a chair car preferred by most middle-class passengers. Has a total of five seats in a row on broad gauge trains and four seats in a row on metre gauge trains.
2nd Class-Shovon
(২য় শ্রেণী-শোভন)
One of the cheapest classes; seats are not very comfortable.
2nd Class-Shulov
(২য় শ্রেণী- সুলভ)
The cheapest accommodation, with seats made of pressed wood or steel and are cushioned. Only found in sub-urban and short-distance routes. Although entry into the compartment is guaranteed, a seat is not guaranteed. These coaches are usually very crowded.

Railway stations

Main article: List of railway stations in Bangladesh

Kamalapur Railway Station is the central railway station in Dhaka. Other major stations are Khulna railway station , Sylhet railway station , Rajshahi railway station, Chattogram railway station. In 2015, Bangladesh Railway serviced 489 railway stations. These include one block hut, thirteen train halts, and four goods booking points. The schedule of Bangladesh Railway has changed 26 Trains in the new year 2020. The East zone Train schedule will active on 10 January 2020.[40] There are 3 stations with international train services in Bangladesh; they are Dhaka Cantonment railway station, Khulna railway station, & Jashore Junction railway station, All international trains arrive and depart from these stations.

See also


  1. ^ "Bangladesh Railway". Bangladesh Railway. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Railway Reform Progress Report" (PDF). Asian Development Bank. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  3. ^ বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ের জনবল [Manpower of Bangladesh Railway]. Bangladesh Railway (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ রেলপথ মন্ত্রণালয়ের সংক্ষিপ্ত ইতিহাস ও প্রধান কার্যাবলী [History of Ministry of Railways]. Ministry of Railways-Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Bangladesh Railway in Short". Bangladesh Railway. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  6. ^ International2019-01-16T08:46:28+00:00, Railway Gazette. "Bangladesh Railway orders Progress Rail locomotives". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Information Book 2018" (PDF). Bangladesh Railway.
  8. ^ a b "History". Bangladesh Railway. Archived from the original on 15 November 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  9. ^ "FAQ". Bangladesh Railway. Archived from the original on 20 December 2005. Retrieved 26 December 2005.
  10. ^ "Track, Bridges and Stations". Bangladesh Railway. Archived from the original on 31 December 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Railway Route Map -Bangladesh Railway-Government of the People of Republic Bangladesh - বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ে-গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ সরকার". Bangladesh Railway. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Bangladesh and India Finalise Rail Projects". Railway Technology. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Development projects get the go-ahead". Railway Gazette International. Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  14. ^ "India provides key railway infrastructure to Bangladesh". The Hindu. 23 May 2023. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Work on new India-Bangladesh railway link from 2015". The Times of India. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Rail project to connect India and Bangladesh begins; land acquisition notices served to 257 families". Firstpost. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Ministry of Railways". Ministry of Railways. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  18. ^ "BR In Short". Bangladesh Railway. 9 March 2020.
  19. ^ Taher, Md. Abu (April 1999). "Politicization of Trade Unions: Issues and Challenges in Bangladesh Perspective". Indian Journal of Industrial Relations. 34 (4): 411. ISSN 0019-5286. JSTOR 27767614.
  20. ^ a b Sultana, Munima (8 March 2019). "Top rail jobs still charmless for women". The Financial Express.
  21. ^ a b Sajid, Eyamin (9 March 2022). "Salma Khatun: The woman who dared to build a career on an unknown track". The Business Standard.
  22. ^ "Women on the wheels". Prothom Alo. 11 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Rolling Stock and Railway Freey". Bangladesh Railway. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  24. ^ "DLW bags order for 16 locomotives from Bangladesh Railways". Global Rail News. 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  25. ^ Bangladesh taps Progress Rail for GT Series power Railway Age 2 July 2019
  26. ^ increases rail connections with Bangladesh Railway Gazette International 27 July 2020
  27. ^ "Preserved Steam Locomotives in Bangladesh". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Facilities of CPA". Chittagong Port Authority. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  29. ^ "India approves new railway link with Bangladesh". Two Circles. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  30. ^ "Oil-laden train derails in Ctg". The Daily Star. 10 July 2014.
  31. ^ "Home Bangladesh 2 injured in Ctg rail engine derailment". Prothom Alo.
  32. ^ a b "Stores". Bangladesh Railway. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  33. ^ বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ে-গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ সরকার [Passenger Trains in BR]. Bangladesh Railway (in Bengali). Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  34. ^ "Bangladesh – India border reopens". Railway Gazette International. 5 August 2007.
  35. ^ "Tk 50 crore water vessels of Railway decaying at Balashi and Bahadurabad". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
  36. ^ "How to Buy Bangladesh Railway(Train) Ticket Online". Tech Thumbs. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  37. ^ "Fatal Bangladesh Collision". Railways Africa. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  38. ^ "Bangladesh: 5 killed as four train coaches derail, hundreds injured". India Today. 24 June 2019.
  39. ^ বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ের যাত্রীবাহী ট্রেন. Bangladesh Railway (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  40. ^ "Bangladesh Railway Schedule, Time table". 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.