The passenger train between New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in India's West Bengal state and Dhaka will start on March 26, as part of Bangladesh's independence golden jubilee celebrations.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who travels to Dhaka on March 26, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are expected to flag off the new train service as part of the efforts to revive the rail connectivity that had existed till 1965 between the countries.
The operation of the nonstop ten-bogey train between NJP and Dhaka, which will cover a distance of 513 km, was discussed at a two-day meeting between a team of Bangladesh Railway officers and Ravinder Kumar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager of India's Katihar division, in New Jalpaiguri on Tuesday and Wednesday, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Mohammed Shahidul Islam, the Divisional Railway Manager of Paksey division who led the Bangladesh team of Railway officers, told the media in Siliguri on Wednesday that Bangladesh wanted to operate the train between Siliguri and Dhaka. "But Siliguri didn't have the required infrastructure, so it had to be NJP instead," he added.
NJP has the biggest railway station in the northern part of West Bengal and is just six km away from Siliguri. It is a key junction between mainland India and north-eastern India.
The Dhaka-NJP train would take the same route as the Haldibari-Chilahati train that was flagged off last year.
The name of the Dhaka-NJP train and its fare is yet to be decided, said Verma.
Custom and immigration facilities will be provided at NJP and Dhaka railway stations.
The train will run from NJP on Thursdays and Fridays and Dhaka on Fridays and Tuesdays.
Islam said that "in the next phase, we will connect Nepal and Bhutan."
"With the Partition in 1947, railway connectivity between these two stations had been severed. "People of both the countries suffered a lot of connectivity issues and wanted this route to be revived," he added.