Uttara-Agargaon metro rail viaduct ready, station work in final stage

Metro rail operation will begin after Fajr prayers and continue till midnight. Initially, trains will be operated every 10 minutes
Picture: TBS/SAP

The 11.73km viaduct of the Dhaka metro rail’s Uttara-to-Agargaon portion is ready for operation and the last-minute work of the rail stations on the route is underway in full swing.

At a press briefing at the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) office on Monday, the company’s Managing Director MAN Siddique said functional and performance tests are being conducted with 10 sets of trains brought from Japan. The first passenger-less integrated test will begin on the first day of September.

“No more work is left on the Uttara-Agargaon metro rail viaduct. The construction of nine stations in this section has also been completed. Only lifts and escalators are being installed in some stations. Besides, the work on the entry and exit ways in four stations is in progress,” he said.

“If all goes well, commercial rail operation on the Uttara-Agargaon route will commence in December,” MAN Siddique said.

The progress in the MRT Line-6 project involving a 20.1km elevated railroad from Uttara to Motijheel was 81.70% till July. Of this, the progress in the Motijheel-Agargaon section was 81.86% and the Uttara-Agargaon section was 93.86%.

“The physical and electrification works of Receiving Substation (RSS) at Uttara Depot have been completed. A 19km rail track has been completed in the depot area. The installation and mechanical work of 16 out of 17 lifts in the depot area has been completed,” The DMTCL MD said, adding that the work of the Metro rail training centre inside the depot has also been completed.

The installation and mechanical work of 24 out of 36 lifts in 9 stations in the Uttara-Agargaon section has been completed while the work on the rest is in the final stage. Out of 54 escalators to be constructed in this section, 26 escalators have been installed, he said.

The entry and exit ways in five stations are ready for passengers, but work is still going on at four stations. There is an issue with land acquisition at these stations. After the issue is resolved, footpaths will be constructed on the entrances and exits, he said, adding that all work will be completed by September.

Integrated test from 1 Sep

The DMTCL MD said after the completion of the physical work of the metro rail, additional importance has been given to the final preparations for the train operation on the Uttara-Agargaon route.

He said functional tests, performance tests and various types of tests are being conducted. The integrated test involving all systems will begin on 1 September.

“This final compact test will be completed within one and a half to two months period. It may take up to three months. But there will be no problem in running commercial trains in December,” he said.

Manpower recruitment, training

Siddique said that more than 50 people have been appointed for train operation and station management, which is enough for now.

“They are being trained in different training centres in the country, as well as abroad. Many are taking practical training in metro trains after training,” he said.

Multiple power connections

Siddique said the electrified metro trains will not be shut down due to a power crisis unless there is a major disaster in the national grid. 

Power connection has been drawn from three lines of the national grid and another one from the distribution line. Each line has a double connection. As long as there is electricity in any one of these lines, there will be no problem in the operation of the entire metro rail, he said.

Apart from that, each station has an automatic generator and a backup generator for each generator, he said.

Metro rail will run from dawn to midnight

Metro rail operation will begin after Fajr prayers and continue till midnight. The DMTCL MD said, initially, trains will be operated every 10 minutes. As the number of passengers increases, the frequency of trains will be increased.

Siddique also said that trains will be operated every three and a half minutes at the final stage of demand.

17 sets of trains arrived so far

Under the MRT Line-6 ​​project, 20 sets of trains will be required to operate the metro rail from Uttara to Kamalapur. With four sets of backup trains, there will be a total of 24 sets of trains for the entire metro rail operation, but 17 sets have arrived in the country so far.

The 10 sets of trains, required for the Uttara-Agargaon route, arrived in January this year. Five sets arrived later. All 15 sets are parked in the Diabari depot. Two more sets of trains arrived at Mongla port on Sunday.

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