• Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:54 pm

Dhaka-New Jalpaiguri train services to start from March 26

  • Published at 03:18 pm February 25th, 2021
Maitree Express
File photo of Maitree Express Dhaka Tribune

The train will run from New Jalpaiguri on Thursdays and Fridays and from Dhaka on Fridays and Tuesdays

India and Bangladesh on Wednesday announced a biweekly train between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in North Bengal and Dhaka in Bangladesh. 

Covering a distance of 513km, the non-stop passenger train with 10 compartments will start running from March 26, the day Bangladesh begins the golden jubilee celebrations of its independence, reports Hindustan Times.

This will be the third passenger train between the two countries. 

At present, Maitree Express runs between Kolkata and Dhaka, and Bandhan Express connects Kolkata and Khulna.

Ravindra Kumar Verma, divisional railway manager of India's Katihar division, said: "We held a detailed discussion with a team of Bangladesh railway officers led by Mohammed Shahidul Islam, the divisional railway manager of Bangladesh's railways' Paksey division, who arrived in Siliguri on February 22."

On December 17, the train route between Chilahati in Bangladesh's Nilphamari and Haldibari in Cooch Behar of West Bengal was opened after a gap of 55 years for goods trains. 

Also Read - 55-year long wait ends: Chilahati-Haldibari rail track reopened

The passenger train between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka will take the same route.

Verma said the name of the train and its fare are yet to be decided. 

Customs and immigration facilities will be provided at NJP and Dhaka railway stations. 

The train will run from NJP on Thursdays and Fridays and from Dhaka on Fridays and Tuesdays.

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.

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."

The Bangladesh government wanted to run the train between Siliguri, North Bengal's biggest town, and Dhaka, he said. 

"But Siliguri didn't have the required infrastructure, so it had to be NJP instead." 

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

Meanwhile, the development brings hope for tour operators. 

Sandipan Ghosh, secretary of Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators Association, and Samrat Sanyal, general secretary of Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network, said the services would ease the movement of tourists and people of the two countries.

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