Kamalapur railway station
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|Bangladesh Railway Station|
Kamalapur Railway Station, Dhaka
|Line(s)||Narayanganj–Bahadurabad Ghat line|
|Structure type||Standard (on ground station)|
Kamalapur Railway Station is the central railway station in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The station is the largest in the country and the most important terminal for transportation between Dhaka and the rest of Bangladesh. It is also one of the most modern and striking buildings in Dhaka designed by Berger Consulting. The design process started under the direction of Daniel Dunham followed by Robert Boughey. Opened in 1969.
There was only one railway station in Fulbaria. After the partition of Bengal, Dhaka became an important city and Kamalapur was selected for extension. Prior to the station being constructed, the land was a paddy field. At the beginning of the 1960s, the station was built, and at that time it was one of the most important establishments in East Pakistan. It was mesmerizing to people at that time as there were not many beautiful structures in Dhaka.
Kamalapur Railway Station project was undertaken by the governor of East Pakistan to replace the aging Fulbaria station and provide a more grand and symbolic gateway to the capital. Berger Consultants from New Jersey had opened a branch office in Dhaka in 1960 and won the contract to design the station. Daniel Dunham headed the local office with an architecture degree from Harvard and Post-graduate degree from School of Tropical Architecture, London. His thesis project at Harvard was large span thin-shell concrete design and he explored many options to span the vast station roof. Since the governor promoted Mogul motif pointed arch for all government projects, it required exploring multiple options and an umbrella-shaped repetitive form that looked like pointed arch when seen from frontal view was one of the options explored during preliminary stages. When Robert Boughey took over the helm of the Dhaka office after Daniel Dunham joined the newly formed Architecture Department at EPUET, he went back to the umbrella scheme and won approval to proceed with design and preparation of construction documents. The vaulted domes were cast-in-place concrete with wood-framed formwork that could be reused. The high roof element provided a grand scale, protection from rain, sun and sheltered the two-story office block below to become a fitting gateway to Dhaka. The station contains 21 ticket counters, and local tickers can be bought from 20 ticket counters. Tickets are available to go to India. There are two waiting rooms, one for first class, and the other for second class passengers. The station has eight platforms and there are two restaurants in front of the ticket counters. There are also fast food shops near the ticket counters.
There are 47 local trains, 40 mail/ express trains and 30 inter-city trains going through the station. The station has many security guards, station masters, along with one station manager. Every day, thousands of people come through the station. The trains go to many parts of Bangladesh such as-Jamalpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rangpur, Dinajpur etc. The platforms are always populated. There are lots of police and guards inside and outside of the station to control the area. The station is sometimes used as a sleeping place for homeless people.
- Ershad Ahmed. "Dhaka". blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Rahman, Mahbubur (2012). "Architecture". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
- James-Chakraborty, Kathleen (2014). "Reinforced concrete in Louis Kahn's National Assembly, Dhaka: Modernity and modernism in Bangladeshi architecture". Frontiers of Architectural Research. 3: 81–88. doi:10.1016/j.foar.2014.01.003.
Media related to Kamalapur Railway Station at Wikimedia Commons