Rajshahi-Kolkata Train Service to Resume After 77 Years

Kolkata: The cross-border train service between Rajshahi, Bangladesh, and Kolkata, India, is set to resume after a 77-year hiatus. This significant development was announced following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi last Saturday. The Rajshahi-Kolkata train will be the fourth international train between India and Bangladesh, joining the Kolkata-Dhaka ‘Maitree Express,’ Kolkata-Khulna ‘Bandhan Express,’ and New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka ‘Mitali Express.’

Among the 13 initiatives unveiled by both Prime Ministers in a joint press address, the revival of the Rajshahi-Kolkata train service is particularly noteworthy for the people of North Bangladesh, especially those in the Rajshahi Division.

Since the announcement, people from various professions in North Bangladesh have expressed optimism that the new train service will not only facilitate travel but also establish a new communication link with India.

Khairuzzaman Liton, Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation, noted that the Rajshahi-Kolkata train will enhance Rajshahi’s connectivity with India, Nepal, and Bhutan, potentially transforming Rajshahi into a hub for trade and commerce, as reported by Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).

The Rajshahi-Kolkata train service was operational before the Partition of India in 1947. The demand for its revival has been long-standing among the local population. Currently, hundreds of patients from Rajshahi travel to India for medical treatment daily, and many people visit West Bengal for family reasons. Traders involved in import-export also frequently travel to Kolkata and other Indian states. The reintroduction of a direct train service will significantly ease these journeys.

Businessmen, socio-political leaders, and tour operators in the Rajshahi region have expressed their gratitude to both Prime Ministers for this initiative.

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