Fifty-two years after it was stopped, Kolkata and Khulna was again connected with a train service on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flagged off the Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express through video links, the second train to run between the two countries after Maitree Express that runs between Dhaka and Kolkata.
Bandhan Express is the first train to connect Kolkata and Khulna after Barisal Express, which was stopped owing to the India-Pakistan war in 1965. It is a weekly train that will depart from Kolkata every Thurday at 7:10 am and arrive in Khulna, the third largest town in Bangladesh, at 12:30 pm.
The commercial service of the new train will begin on November 16. The train will ply a distance of 172 km with journey time of four and a half hours. The train has 456 AC seats, comprising 312 AC chair cars and 144 AC first-class seats.
The train will halt at two intermediate stations, Petrapole (India) and Benepole (Bangladesh), with a stoppage time 10 and 15 minutes, respectively.
In 2008, India and Bangladesh was connected with Maitree Express. The tri-weekly train has a capacity of 456 passengers.