After almost 5 decades, a train resumed on the route between Kolkata and Khulna.
The last train to connect Kolkata and Khulna, The Barisal Express, ended its run in 1965. On the 16th of November 2017, as planned, the Bandhan Express began its first commercial run between Kolkata and Khulna, from Kolkata Railway Station, formerly known as Chitpur Station—the newest of the four intracity railway stations.
The Bandhan Express, together with the existing Kolkata-Dhaka Maitree Express, are now two trains that connect India to Bangladesh.
After it’s successful inaugural run on 9th November, flagged off via video conference by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shaikh Hasina, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Bandhan Express left on Thursday with 53 passengers.
These passengers earlier would travel by bus, but now have the option of another mode of transport, which they enjoyed travelling in.
Bidhan Poddar said to the Indian Express “It is a historic moment for us… The train is making its first commercial run and we are happy to be a part of it.”
Mr Poddar was travelling with his wife to meet his elder brother.
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Excitedly clicking selfies with passengers, the tourist Mohammad Russel Mahmud (38), a resident of Barisal, Bangladesh remarked “I am very excited, as the train is making its first commercial run. This is the second time I visited Kolkata. I used to travel by bus. Now, I might consider taking the train”. Another passenger travelled all the way to Kolkata just to be a part of the Bandhan Express’ first journey.