Mitali Express to take Dhaka directly to the doorsteps of the Himalayas
Dhaka, June 1: For decades, people living in and around West Bengal in India have been able to visit Darjeeling and experience the beauty the hill station offers. Now, people of Bangladesh can avail the same, courtesy the Mitali Express.
The international express, connecting India and Bangladesh, will start its journey from June 1.
Rail Minister Nurul Islam Sujon and his Indian counterpart Ashwini Vaishnaw will officially flag off the train on Wednesday, June 1, at Rail Bhawan in Delhi.
The train will leave India's New Jalpaiguri Junction and reach Dhaka Cantonment station at 10:30 pm on the same day.
Train Time Table:
The Mitali Express will leave Dhaka Cantonment two days a week - Monday and Thursday. The train will leave at 9:50 pm local time on those two days. Mail also leaves Darjeeling from Sealdah at about the same time.
The train will reach New Jalpaiguri the next day at 7:15 am local time after covering a total distance of 513 km (the last of which is 69 km in India).
The return train will leave New Jalpaiguri every Sunday and Wednesday of the week. The departure time of the train from NJP on those two days has been fixed at 12.45 pm. After a journey of about 9 hours, the train will reach Dhaka by 10:30 pm that night.
There is no commercial stop of Mitali Express between Dhaka Cantonment and NJP. However, due to technical reasons, the train will make two 10-minute stops on the Indo-Bangladesh border. The two stations are Haldibari, the last station on the Indian side, and Chilahati, the first station on the Bangladesh side.
The reason for these 'technical stops' is that the train driver at the border will change. The train will be operated by Indian drivers in the Indian part. After entering Bangladesh, the train driver of Bangladesh Railway will take charge of Mitali Express.
The fare of the Mitali Express will be slightly higher than that of other ordinary trains in India as it was originally designed with tourists in mind.
According to the North-East Frontier Railway, the two trains departing from India will have three categories of fare per passenger.
Air Conditioner (AC) Cabin Berth: Rs 4,905
Air-conditioned (AC) Cabin Chair: Rs 3,805
Ordinary AC chair car: Rs 2,707
The fare from Bangladesh has not been decided yet.
Passengers will be able to book tickets for the NJP-Dhaka route by showing their passport-visa at the NJP station near Siliguri to India or at the Overseas Passengers Reservation Counter in Kolkata.
The 'Maitri' and 'Bandhan' Express had earlier brought Dhaka and Khulna within the reach of Kolkata respectively. Now Mitali is taking Dhaka directly to the doorsteps of the Himalayas.