The trial run of the Dhaka-Kolkata container train, loaded with over 1,100 tons of animal feed, has started, several Indian media have reported.
While trains carrying passengers and goods run between the two countries, this is the first container service.
According to the Indian Express, the 30-container train will carry food grains and other materials in its maiden run from Kolkata to the west station of the Bangabandhu Bridge in Bangladesh.
Exporters' forums from both countries had long been lobbying for container trains as they could save time and cut trade costs significantly apart from making trade safer and more organized.
Container trains are usually used to ferry machine parts, chemicals, automobiles and consumer durables that involve a shorter transit time.
“Once established, the movement of container cargo is expected to transform the logistics pattern of movement of goods between the two countries,” Railway Board Member (traffic) Mohammad Jamshed told The Indian Express.
The thrust for the Bangladesh-India route for container movement comes even as Pakistan has put a spanner in the ambitious plan of a similar container movement from Dhaka to Istanbul through Pakistan and Iran, despite all parties being on board under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the route being ready.
Pakistan has refused to agree to container movement through the Attari border since last year citing security concerns.