India-Bangladesh train services resume after two-year break due to Covid-19
Bandhan Express and Maitri Express have resumed services, and Mitali Express is scheduled to start on June 1
With the flagging off of the Bandhan Express from Kolkata in West Bengal on its route to Khulna in Bangladesh, passenger train services between India and Bangladesh restarted on Sunday after an almost two-year hiatus due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official Twitter account of the High Commission of India in Bangladesh tweeted, "Bandhan Express train service resumes! After a long wait due to COVID-19, cross-border train service b/w Kolkata & Khulna resumed today, with the train being flagged off from Kolkata. Resumption of this critical cross-border service will greatly ease passenger movement."
On Sunday, along with Bandhan Express, Maitri Express also restarted the service between Kolkata and Dhaka from the Dhaka Cantonment station for the first time since March 2020.
While the Bandhan Express runs between Kolkata and Khulna twice a week, the Maitree Express has services between Kolkata and Bangladesh's capital five times a week. There are air-conditioned chair cars and executive class categories on the trains, which have a capacity of roughly 450 passengers.
The NJP-Dhaka Mitali Express will commence operations between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka on Wednesday, following its planned virtual flagging off from Rail Bhawan by the railway ministers of India and Bangladesh.
The new service would also enhance tourism in northern West Bengal since many Bangladeshi tourists are eager to visit the Darjeeling Hills and the woods and tea gardens of the Dooars, which are located in the foothills.