Promoting Rail for Safety, Savings, and the Environment

                                                              

Promoting Rail for Safety, Savings, and the Environment

Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust
In a Nutshell: 
In the minds of too many planners and politicians, transport means road-based and motorized. We are challenging that mindset and working actively to increase the use of rail for inter-city transport.
Challenges: 
There are strong forces promoting road-based transport, including those selling cars, fuel, and car-based infrastructure. There are fewer forces promoting rail and virtually no organizations working on this issue.
Innovation: 
Attempts to reduce road deaths tend to focus on road-based measures; instead, we seek to shift more transport from highways to rail. This would not only reduce transport-related injuries and deaths but also lead to great savings in terms of space and money...and have significant positive environmental impacts as well.
Concept: 
Steel wheels on steel tracks are infinitely more sustainable than rubber wheels on asphalt; trains require vastly less space, and their engines are far more efficient than those of buses and trucks. Rail is thus an essential solution to reducing pollution, congestion, and waste of money on transport, as well as to save lives. When people arrive in a city by train they are more likely to move about in the city via sustainable means than if they arrive in a car.
Description: 
WBB Trust has for many years campaigned for more importance and a higher budget for rail. We led a successful nationwide campaign to create a separate Ministry for Rail and continue to advise on needed changes to have better and affordable train service. This includes research on the problems currently faced by passengers, how to increase rail capacity through the better use of local workshops to repair trains, and intensive campaigning on the need to prioritize rail transport.
Impacts: 
We were successful in advocating for a separate Ministry for Rail. Rail now has more importance and a higher budget. Over the long term, this should lead to a greater share of freight and passengers moving by rail not highways and thus a number of significant benefits.