Bangladesh, India to launch new train service on March 26

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Bangladesh and India have announced to launch a bi-weekly train service on March 26, the opening day of the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh's independence.

The non-stop passenger train with ten compartments, running between Dhaka of Bangladesh and New Jalpaiguri of India, will cover a distance of 513 kilo metres, reports Hindustan Times.

This train service will also be the third one between the two countries. The other two are: Maitree Express that runs between Kolkata and Dhaka, and Bandhan Express that connects Kolkata and Khulna.

The Chilahati-Haldibari train route was opened after a gap of 55 years for goods trains on December 17 last year. The passenger train service between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka will take the same route.

Once the passenger train service on the Haldibari-Chilahati route is resumed, many other trains between North Bengal and Kolkata could avoid detours, taking this route instead.

"The name of the new train service and its fare are yet to be decided," said Indian railway official Ravindra Kumar Verma.

Custom and immigration facilities will be provided at Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri railway stations. The train will operate from Dhaka on every Friday and Tuesday and from New Jalpaiguri on every Thursday and Friday.

A team of Bangladesh railway officers led by Mohammed Shahidul Islam, the divisional railway manager of Bangladesh’s railways’ Paksey division, recently held a detailed discussion with Indian railway officials.

Shahidul Islam said, “The train services will improve the bilateral relations between the two countries and will boost the tourism industry in both the countries.”

He informed that the Bangladesh wanted to run the train between Dhaka and Siliguri.

“But Siliguri didn’t have the required infrastructure, so it had to be New Jalpaiguri instead,” he said.

New Jalpaiguri has the biggest railway station in North Bengal and is just 6km away from Siliguri.

Meanwhile, the development brings hope for Indian tour operators. They said the services would ease the movement of tourists and people of the two countries who have close ties.