India and Bangladesh flagged off a new passenger train service called the Mitali Express, via the newly renovated Haldibari-Chilahati rail link on Wednesday. This will strengthen the relations and connectivity between the two neighboring countries.
The train service that was virtually inaugurated by the prime ministers of both countries on March 27 last year, saw a virtual flag off by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujan. The train service got delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The train will run on Sunday and Wednesday from New Jalpaiguri at 11.45 am and arrive at Dhaka at 10.30 pm on the same days and depart from Dhaka at 9.50 pm on Monday and Thursday and arrive at New Jalpaiguri at 7.15 am on Tuesday and Friday, covering a distance of 595 kilometers.
The train will have three classes- AC First (Cabin) Sleeper, AC First (Cabin) seat, and AC Chair car, and the ticket will cost USD 44, USD 33, and USD 22 respectively.
Mitali Express will foster tourism in both countries and provide Bangladesh citizens access to Nepal via India by rail.
Two other trains also run between India and Bangladesh-Kolkata-Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree Express (five days a week) and Kolkata-Khulna-Kolkata Bandhan Express (twice a week).