Bangladesh and India have started the trial run of passenger train services between Khulna and Kolkata with the arrival of a train at Petrapole along the border.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee jointly flagged off the train service via video-conferencing from New Delhi.
Regular services between the Kolkata station and Khulna will start in July, the Press Trust of India reported, citing railway officials.
The Bangladesh-India rail corridor through Petrapole reopened in 2001 for goods trains.
The bdnews24.com correspondent at Benapole said Bangladesh Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque and other senior government functionaries were present at the Benapole Railway Station on Saturday.
The Khulna-Kolkata train, Moitree Express-2, will be a ‘milestone’ in India-Bangladesh connectivity, said Mazibul. The lone Moitree Express operates on the Dhaka-Kolkata route now.
According to the minister, the train services on the Khulna-Kolkata route continued until 1965 and now resumed after 43 years through a ‘groundbreaking’ initiative by Hasina.
A delegation of 36 officials of the railways and other departments travelled to Kolkata on the trial journey.