The Bangladesh Government has signed a new agreement with two companies to carry out a feasibility study and detailed design works to build a high-speed railway between the capital Dhaka and seaport city of Chittagong.
The agreement, signed with China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC) and Bangladesh-based consultancy firm Mazumder Enterprise, will explore the potentiality of the new route.
Other than evaluating the feasibility and conducting engineering design works, the parties will identify the estimated costs and environmental impact of the project.
The existing railway link that connects Dhaka and Chittagong, known as Chattogram, is nearly 320km long, though the planned high-speed rail line would be implemented on a shorter route, which could be around 230km long.
Thedailystar.net said that once the project is implemented, the duration of the journey between the two cities will be reduced to nearly two hours.
According to Xinhuanet.com, the new high-speed rail link, which will be the first of its kind in Bangladesh, will see trains run at a speed of 200km/h.
After the preliminary works, which should be completed by 2019, the railway ministry of Bangladesh is expected to issue tenders for the project.
The highway and railway connecting Dhaka and Chattogram are thought to be among the most promising transportation networks in the country.
The construction of the new high-speed rail link is expected to ease congestion and burdens on the existing routes, improving the connectivity between the two cities.
Scheduled to be completed in the next 18 months, the feasibility and detailed design works are slated to begin in less than a month.