Tourism in Cox’s Bazar is largely underpinned by domestic visitation from the urban centers, such as Dhaka, which is located 470 km north and Chittagong. The two-lane national highway restricted connectivity with the predominant mode of transportation being car or bus.
It is anticipated that the market share for the new railway could be as high as 50% of incoming trips, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve road safety. New stations and facilities at Cox’s Bazar and Ramu will be a catalyst for economic growth, supporting tourism as well as inbound and outbound freight.
As part of the scope, the JV team completed a detailed design review, including technical specifications and preparation of tender documents. As Construction Supervision Consultant SMEC undertook contract management and provided ongoing technical support including testing and commissioning.
Key features of the project include:
- Six special bridges, 32 major girder bridges, 223 culverts and 183 water crossings.
- The scope included construction of 10.02 million cubic meters of railway embankment including subgrade, sand blanket and backfilling.
- Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar railway included provisions for future extensions and capacity enhancement of the line. The alignment and right of way are designed in such a way that future double-tracking of the railway line is possible.
- Modern station facilities equipped with relay batteries, generator rooms, sewage and waste management infrastructure, and energy-saving features such as solar panels. Stations also include bespoke washroom facilities for women and children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
- Ramu freight facility and cantonment diversion.
- Nine station yards and station buildings with residence and dormitory facilities including an iconic new station building at Cox’s Bazar, constructed on 29 acres of land in the Hajipara area of Jhelongja Union.
- Supply and installation of computer-based interlocking (CBI) signalling system at nine stations.
- Ancillary works like level crossings, utility relocations, approach roads, platform sheds, and foot bridges.
The project includes Bangladesh’s first Elephant crossings. The railway line from passes through three floodplain sanctuaries at Chutni, Phansiakhali and Medhakachpia. Three underpasses and one overpass have been constructed in this section.
The Asian Elephant is classified as an endangered species and a special investigation along the alignment found 20 crossing areas.
Boundary walls have been erected to prevent elephants wandering onto the track and locomotives have been equipped with thermal imaging cameras which enable drivers to detect the heat signature of an elephant 1,000m ahead.
This overpass was built based on reviewing elephants’ movement for more than 2 years through CC cameras. Approximately 20 species of trees including Banana, walnut, jackfruit have been planted naturally on the overpass.
Overall, the Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar Railway Line is a strategically important project that will significantly benefit Bangladesh’s economy, environment, and society. It will promote tourism, enhance freight transportation, improve social inclusion, reduce pollution, and contribute to sustainable development.
- The new station at Cox’s Bazar can accommodate over 46,000 passengers a day.
- The new railway will improve socio-economic conditions for people living in the rural areas whilst meeting rising demand for passengers and freight transportation services.
- A dedicated social and resettlement team from the client worked closely with NGO’s to ensure rehabilitation and resettlement of communities impacted by the alignment, in accordance with the Asian Development Bank resettlement framework.
- The project helps Bangladesh to meet its targets under its 7th Five-Year plan and its railway master plan, which aim to raise the country’s freight market share to 15% and its passenger market share to 10%.
- The railway line will connect remote and underserved areas, providing better access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities for the rural population.
This railway corridor is also part of the Trans-Asia Railway network. In addition to enabling subregional traffic from Dhaka and Chittagong towards Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh will be able to connect with the railway networks of neighbouring countries such as Myanmar.
ACE Bangladesh, CANARAIL and Systra
2017 – 2023
Lot 1: China Railway Engineering Group (CREC) and Toma Group
Lot 2: China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Max Group
Asian Development Bank and the Government of Bangladesh