Indo-Bangla passenger train: Services to resume May 29
Passenger train services between Bangladesh and India will resume on May 29 after a long break of more than two years due to the Covid pandemic.
Moreover, Mitali Express, the third passenger train to be operated between the two countries, will start running on June 1.
The decision on the dates were finalised at an inter-ministerial meeting at the Rail Bhaban yesterday, Sardar Shahadat Ali, additional director general (operations) of Bangladesh Railway, told The Daily Star.
He said they would publish advertisements about the resumption and also the launch of the new train service by tomorrow and start selling tickets the same day.
Mitali Express will ply between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal for four days a week.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, who is expected to visit India late this month, and Indian Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will jointly flag off the new train virtually from the Rail Bhavan in New Delhi, railway sources said.
Earlier, railways of both the countries agreed on the dates.
Before the suspension of services in March 2020, Maitree Express ran on Dhaka-Kolkata route for five days a week while Bandhan Express on Khulna-Kolkata route twice a week.
Mitali Express, inaugurated by the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India on March 26 last year, will use Chilahati-Haldibari rail link.
In March this year, a move was made to resume passenger train services, but it could not be possible due to some visa and Covid protocol-related issues.
Both BR and the Indian High Commission in Dhaka recently wrote to the Indian railways ministry to resume cross-border passenger train services. And later the dates were fixed, according to BR sources.
Operation of Maitree Express will resume with BR rake (train) and that of Bandhan Express from Kolkata with Indian Railway's rake, they said.
Mitali Express, the fully-airconditioned direct train with 10 coaches, will be operated twice from Dhaka and twice from the NJP every week, the officials mentioned.
The train will leave Dhaka at 9:50pm on Monday and Thursday and reach the NJP at 7:15am on Tuesday and Friday.
On the other hand, it will depart from the NJP at 11:45am on Sunday and Wednesday and arrive in Dhaka at 10:30pm the same day, they said.
Customs formalities will be completed at Dhaka's Cantonment Station and the NJP Station.