The installation of rail tracks on the lower deck of the two-storey Padma Bridge has begun after overcoming the technical complications with a delay of three months.
The casting work of the ballastless tracks at the Jajira end of the bridge officially started on Wednesday night and is going on in full swing from Thursday, according to the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project authority.
The casting work of the rail tracks from the Mawa end will also begin on 15 December and the installation of rail tracks at the both ends will be completed within six months. The train operation on the Dhaka-Bhanga route will hopefully start by June next year, they added.
The installation of rail tracks on the Padma Bridge was supposed to start on 20 August this year and the railway minister also inaugurated the work.
But technical complications arose over elevation coordination of the tracks. After three months' efforts, those complications were resolved and the installation of rail tracks started finally, project officials said.
As the ballastless track is permanent and its renovation is not easy, it took three months to analyse all technical aspects of such installation.
Padma Bridge Rail Link Project Engineer Sadman Shahriar said this is the first ever construction of a ballastless railway line in Bangladesh. Through these tracks, trains will move at a high speed without any jolt.
Binding rods, welding, installation and positioning of sleepers are going on throughout the day on the bridge. The casting work is done at night due to the tolerable temperature.
Brigadier General Syeed Ahmed, project manager of Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, said, "We will try to complete the installation of the rail line on the bridge and its connecting part within the next six months."
As a total of 100 metres of rail tracks at both ends will be installed daily, the rail tracks on the bridge will completely be installed within the next six months, he added.
Prior to the installation of ballastless tracks, casting work of the viaduct surface at both ends has been completed. Besides, a 32-kilometre rail track stretching from Bhanga to Jazira end of the main bridge is completely ready.
The train operation via the bridge can be started by June 2023, as scheduled deadline for the project, the project manager also hoped.