Frequent derailment and disruption to train schedules go unabated across the country because of run-down railway tracks, sleepers and bridges.
Bangladesh Railway has imposed speed restriction on trains on railway tracks at many areas to avoid accidents. Some restrictions were, however, imposed 10 years ago.
Reasons behind speed restrictions include settlement of soil under tracks because of heavy rain, dilapidated condition of tracks, sleepers and railway bridges, buckling tendency of tracks because of excessive heat and accidents.
In the past four days, the Sirajganj Express was derailed in three accidents in Sirajganj-Ishwardi section due to settlement of soil under tracks caused by heavy rain.
New Age correspondent in Sirajganj reported that two compartments of Sirajganj Express were derailed at about 11:00am on Friday at Mahmudpur near Sirajganj Bazar station.
One compartment each of Sirajganj Express and a Dhaka-bound train were derailed in the same area on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Railway west zone chief engineer Mahbubul Alam Bakshi said that the derailments took place because of damage of rail slippers caused by incessant rain for the past several days.
According to the railway, 43 orders on speed restriction on railway tracks at places – 33 in east zone and 10 in west zone – are in force.
Sixteen orders have been issued to restrict speed because of run-down tracks and sleepers and settlement of soil under tracks caused by rain.
Areas where speed restrictions have been imposed include Laksham-Akhaura, Sholshahar-Cantonment, Bhuapur-Bangabandhu Bridge East, Arikhola-Pubail, Parbatipur-Chilahati, Naoti-Nangolkot, Mainamati-Comilla, Mohuriganj-Fajilpur, Waruk-Hajiganj and Gumandi-Dholghat.
The railway imposed a speed limit between Gomandi and Dhalghati stations on April 29, 2005 because of damaged tracks. The restriction is still in force.
Most of the restrictions were imposed in the past three years while two each were imposed in 2012, 2011 and 2009.
Because of speed limits, train movement in these areas took extra minutes, railway officials said.
Train operations during the Eid-ul-Fitr were behind schedules by up to three hours because of slow movement, said the officials.
The railways minister recently admitted that derailment and disruption to schedule were caused by dilapidated tracks and other reasons.
In Sirajganj, senior sub-assistant engineer Md Asraf Uddin was been suspended on allegation of negligence of duty and a three-member committee was formed to probe the derailment.
Train communications in the section resumed at about 4:00pm while hundreds of passengers suffered because of disruption to schedule.
At present, the railway has rail tracks of 2,877 route kilometres.
Source: New Age