Like developed countries, Bangladesh Railway (BR) would soon wash and clean its coaches automatically leaving the existing manual system, said officials.
They said BR has taken a pilot project to set up the first ever automatic washing plant (AWP) which is expected to come into operation next year with the aim to reduce wash and clean time to maintain train movement schedule.
Talking to BSS, Project Director of BR’s AWP project Harun-Or-Rashid said initially two AWPs are being installed in Dhaka and Rajshahi railway stations on trial basis.
“One plant in Dhaka’s Kamalapur railway station would wash metre-gauge coaches while another in Rajshahi station will clean broad-gauge coaches,” he said, adding, “Upon the success of those, more AWPs would be installed in other junctions in phases.”
The AWPs are being installed under the scheme for procurement of 250 metre-gauge and broad-gauge coaches with the financing of Asian Development Bank.
Officials said in manual system, one and a half hours are needed to wash and clean a train, but it would require additional 30 minutes if any train has more coaches. Apart from time, additional manpower and cost are involved with the manual process.
In the manual process, they said, detergent powder and other chemicals are poured into bucket for making washing mixture, but time and again a good portion of it is wasted.
Officials said trains are being washed and cleaned at the wash-feed of 13 railway stations across the country using the manual system.
Harun-Or-Rashid said shortage of manpower often requires additional time to clean and wash train that hampers the schedule of train movement.
“But, when we would use automatic washing system, it would require highest five minutes for washing and cleaning a train without any touch of hand,” he added.
Mentioning that maintaining the schedule of train movement is a tough job here, the AWP project director said: “If additional 30 minutes or 1 hour is required during wash and clean of a train, maintaining the schedule of train becomes tougher.”