The Moitree (Friendship) Express begins its run on Monday, the Bengali New Year's Day, as India and Bangladesh resume a passenger train service after a hiatus of over four decades.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will flag off the Dhaka-bound Moitree Express from Kolkata on Poila Baisakh. West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and many senior cabinet ministers will be among those attending the launch ceremony of the cross-border train.
There is quite a bit of excitement and many people queued up to purchase tickets. The train will run every weekend between Chitpur Station in Kolkata and Cantonment Station in Dhaka through the Darshana border. The 538-km journey will cover 418 km in Bangladesh and 120 km in India. The train from Dhaka will have a capacity of 418 passengers while that from Kolkata will accommodate 366.