The Chattogram-Cox's Bazar rail line is set to open today, offering tourists the opportunity to reach the city by rail from any part of the country via Dhaka. Until now, the primary route to the tourist city of Cox's Bazar was by road. It was difficult to navigate the two-lane road from Chattogram. In comparison to buses, people can now travel to Cox's Bazar from Dhaka or Chattogram at almost half the cost.
Currently, the fare for non-AC buses on the Chattagram-Cox's Bazar route is Tk420, and for AC buses, it is Tk800. However, the minimum fare from Chattogram to Cox's Bazar by rail has been fixed at Tk55 for the general second class, the minimum first-class fare for intercity trains at Tk334, and the maximum at Tk748. On the other hand, the fares for the Snigdha and Shovon classes have been set at Tk414 and Tk220, respectively.
The minimum fare for the intercity train from Dhaka to Cox's Bazar will be Tk565 (Shovon chair), the minimum fare for first class will be Tk863 (first chair/seat), and the maximum fare for first class will be Tk1,977 (AC berth). There are 14 stations on the route from Chattogram railway station, and the fares for these stations have also been fixed.
The fare for the train from Chattogram to Cox's Bazar has been re-fixed since no inter-city train was running earlier, and the method of fixing the fare for the railway bridge of more than 100 metres in length has been changed according to the new rules of the railways. Therefore, an additional fare of 54 km has been imposed due to there being a total of seven bridges up to Cox's Bazar. So, even though the actual distance from Chattogram station to Cox's Bazar is 150.87 kilometres, the commercial distance will be 205 kilometres with an additional postage charge.
The fare from Dhaka to Cox's Bazar will also be re-fixed, factoring in the commercial distance of 321 km between Dhaka and Chattogram. However, there will be no change in the fare for local and diesel-electric multiple unit (DEMU) trains running from Chattogram to Dohazari, according to the marketing department of the railway authority.
According to the railway authorities, even though the Chattogram-Cox's Bazar rail link will be inaugurated today, passengers will have to wait a little longer for the start of commercial train operations on this route as work on the project has not been completed yet.
It may take a few more months to start the train service after completing the construction of the station, manpower recruitment, and setting up the signalling system of the project.