On the occasion of Bangladesh’s independence, the Government of India and Bangladesh have decided to run a passenger train between the two countries from 26 March next month. This train will run from New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri to Dhaka. This will be the third passenger train to run between the two neighboring countries after the Maitree Express and Bandhan Express. When Bangladesh will be celebrating the golden jubilee year of its independence, then after 56 years, the train will run again on the never abandoned route between the two countries.
A team of Indian and Bangladeshi railway officials announced on Wednesday evening that bi-weekly trains between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in North Bengal and Dhaka in Bangladesh would start from 26 March. Earlier two trains are running, one is the Passenger Train Maitree Express, which is between Kolkata and Dhaka and the other is Bandhan Express, which runs between Kolkata and Khulna.
Ravindra Kumar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager of Katihar Division of India said that a team of Bangladesh railway officials led by Divisional Railway Manager Mohammad Shahidul Islam of Pakse Division of Bangladesh, who came to Siliguri on 22 February, along with their Indian counterparts Deeply discussed and reviewed the developments.
Varma and Islam jointly announced that a 10-bogie non-stop passenger train between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka will start from Haldibari in Coochbehar district on March 26, Bangladesh’s Independence Day. On December 17 last year, the Haldibari-Chilta (in Bangladesh) train route was opened for goods trains after a gap of 55 years. Passenger trains plying between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka will go by the same route.
Bangladesh railway official Islam said that train services would further improve bilateral relations between the two countries and give a boost to the tourism industry in both countries. It is being told that custom and immigration facilities will be provided at New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka railway stations.
On Thursday and Tuesday, the train running from New Jalpaiguri will take about 9.15 hours to reach its destination i.e. Dhaka. Meanwhile, this train from Dhaka will open on Friday and Tuesday. Let us tell you that the Haldibari-Chilhati train route – which greatly reduces the distance between New Jalpaiguri and Kolkata – was abandoned in 1965. After the resumption of train service on this route once again, it is expected that many trains between North Bengal and Kolkata can be saved from the roundabout.
It is expected that this train from New Jalpaiguri station will leave for Dhaka at 2 pm. However, till now the name and fare of the train has not been decided. Not only this, tour operators hope that the new train service will give a boost to the tourism industry in North Bengal.