Take a train from Dhaka to Kolkata in September


Dhaka : India and Bangladesh are set to resume their friendship train connecting Dhaka and Kolkata in September after more than four decades, with the two sides wrapping up two-day talks on the train link Tuesday.

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For a start, two trains will operate between Dhaka and Kolkata each week, officials of both countries decided after talks on issues relating to immigration checks, security, fare and frequency of the train.

A Bangladeshi passenger train carrying Bangladeshi officials will travel to Kolkata on July 29 on a return trial run, said A.T.K.M. Ismail, additional secretary in the Bangladesh communication ministry.

The train, called Moitree Express to symbolise the improving ties between the two countries, is expected to cover 345 km between Dhaka and Kolkata in 12 hours.

Customs and immigration will be done at Gede station in Kolkata and Cantonment station in Dhaka, it was decided at the talks.

The fare for the train will range between Rs 300 to Rs 800 in Indian currency.

The train service between the two countries was suspended in 1965 after a war between India and Pakistan, which then ruled Dhaka. Bangladesh became independent in 1971.

During the talks Monday, the two sides had agreed to launch the service in September, instead of August, as it was planned earlier.

A 14-member Indian delegation led by Additional Home Secretary A. E. Ahmed arrived in Dhaka Sunday in a trial run of the cross-border train for talks with the Bangladeshi team lead by Ismail.