Reinstating friendship bond between India & Bangladesh
To further strengthens people to people connectivity through Rail between India and Bangladesh, Government of India and Bangladesh, after several meetings, decided to start a new passenger train service Mitali Express via recently restored Haldibari-Chilahati rail link. This third passenger train service between New Jalpaiguri (India) – Dhaka (Bangladesh)- Mitali Express which was virtually inaugurated by both the Prime Ministers on 27th March 2021, was flagged-off virtually by Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Hon’ble Minister of Railways of India and Md. Nurul Islam Sujan, Hon’ble Railway Minister of Bangladesh, from Rail Bhavan, New Delhi today (i.e. 1st June 2022). Earlier, this train could not be started due to Covid Pandemic restrictions.
Speaking on this occasion, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw said that Mitali Express, will be yet another milestone in increasing this friendship, in strengthening this bond, in improving this relationship. The development is accelerated in a very big way by the warm friendship between the two nations at all the levels. Lots of collaborative efforts have been made between the two railways. It is a very opportune moment; a moment when we should take bigger steps to cement our relationship between the two nations.
Mitali Express train will run biweekly (ex. New Jalpaiguri at 11:45 hours on Sunday and Wednesday and reach Dhaka at 22:30 hours and ex. Dhaka at 21:50 hours on Monday & Thursday and reach New Jalpaiguri at 07:15 hours) and cover a distance of 595 kms from New Jalpaiguri to Dhaka (out of which 61 Kms is Indian portion). Indian Railways LHB coach (like used in Maitree Express and Bandhan Express) will be used comprising 4 First AC, 4 AC Chair Car and 2 Power cars. There will have three classes – AC First (Cabin) Sleeper, AC First (Cabin) seat and AC Chair car, and the fare will be USD 44, USD 33 and USD 22 respectively.
The additional new passenger service, Mitali Express, will give a boost to tourism of both the countries since it connects Bangladesh with North Bengal as well as Northeastern region of India. This will also provide an access of Nepal to Bangladeshi citizens via India by rail.
This new train is in addition to two existing passenger train services, namely Kolkata-Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree Express (five days in a week) and Kolkata-Khulna-Kolkata Bandhan Express (two days in a week) between India and Bangladesh. The services of above two trains, which were suspended due to Covid Pandemic restrictions, have now been resumed w.e.f. 29th May 2022.