High Commissioner of India in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday travelled from Khulna to Kolkata by Bandhan Express’ during its inaugural commercial run.
Ranajit Kumar Roy MP (Jessore-4), Shwapan Bhattacharjee MP (Jessore-5), Khairul Alam, General Manager (West), Bangladesh Railways and Ashim Kumar Biswas, Divisional Railway Manager, Pakshi were also present.
The ‘Bandhan Express’ is symbolic of the friendship and trust between the two countries and will further enhance the excellent people-to-people contacts between India and Bangladesh, said a press release.
The ‘Bandhan Express’ was formally launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee through video conference on November 9.
The commencement of the ‘Bandhan Express’ restored another pre-1965 rail link between the two friendly countries after a gap of 52 years- the Barisal Express used to run from Sealdah to Khulna till 1965.
The ‘Bandhan Express’ is a weekly service (Thursday).
It will start from Kolkata Terminal (13129 Up) at 0710 hrs (IST) and reach Khulna at 1200 hrs (BST).
On its return trip (13130 Down), it will depart from Khulna at 1320 hrs (BST) and reach Kolkata Terminal at 1810 hrs (IST).
The Bandhan Express is totally air conditioned with a total capacity of 312 AC Chair Car Seats and 144 AC First Class Cabin Berths.
The fare for the train is US$ 10 for AC Chair Car and US$ 15 for AC Seats.
In order to avoid inconvenience to passengers and reduce en-route journey time, the customs and immigration formalities on the Indian side will be completed at the International Rail Passenger Terminus at Chitpur, Kolkata.