The railway system holds potential to meet the growing transport needs in Bangladesh. To uphold the economic growth, Bangladesh needs to have efficient and effective transportation system. The transport system also needs to be diversified beyond roads. Railways not only can be expanded with little land acquisition, but it also is more environmentally sustainable option.
For Bangladesh Railways to better support the economy, a major modernization will be needed. The World Bank along with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting the Bangladesh Government’s railway reform program to improve the operational efficiency along with reposition railways as a leading mode of transport in the country.
The World Bank team reviewed the preparation of the proposed Bangladesh Railway Modernization (investment) Project, which will depend on satisfactory progress in the reform of Bangladesh Railway. Without the agreed upon reform, it is likely that the objectives of the investment project would not be achieved. The investment project would focus on rehabilitation and double tracking of the Akhaura-Laksham railway line on the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor. A Project Preparation Advance (PPA) of USD 1.8 Million was approved by the World Bank in July 2009 to continue the preparation of the proposed Railway Modernization Project.