Authorities of Bangladesh Railway have come up with a detailed notification on the new train service between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri which is likely to start by March-end.
The Mitali Express, a bi-weekly train service, had been flagged off by the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh in March last year. However, owing to a surge in Covid 19 cases, the service did not start between the countries.
Over the past couple of weeks, initiatives were taken by railway authorities of both the countries to start the service as the pandemic situation is under control now.
Bangladesh Railway in its notification said the train will have eight air-conditioned coaches, four with berths and seats while the remaining four will have chair cars.
“The train will run between Dhaka Cantonment and New Jalpaiguri. Passengers can buy tickets in three categories (the chair car, AC berth or AC seat),” said a source.
From New Jalpaiguri, the train will depart on Sunday and Wednesday at 11.55am (Indian Standard Time) and reach Dhaka at 10.30pm (Bangladesh Standard Time). It will leave Dhaka on Monday and Thursday at 9.50pm (Bangladesh Standard Time) to reach New Jalpaiguri at 7.15am (IST) the next day. Bangladesh Standard Time is around an hour ahead of IST.
The fare is highest for AC berths (4,905 in Bangladeshi Taka), followed by AC seats (3,805 Bangladeshi Taka) and AC chair car (2,705 Bangladeshi Taka).
During the ride, the train will stop at Haldibari, the bordering station of India located in Cooch Behar district of Bengal and in Chilahati in Nilphamari district, Bangladesh.
“The train will boost connectivity of north Bengal. The railways should now take up a proposal with Bangladesh to run trains to Calcutta from NJP via Bangladesh. Earlier, trains did run along the route. It will cut travel time between north Bengal and Calcutta,” said Soumen Nag, a researcher based in Siliguri.