New Delhi :
Taking the friendship of two countries further, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday jointly launch a new passenger train service between Kolkata and Khulna, Bangladesh's southwestern industrial city, officials said on Wednesday.
The two leaders would inaugurate the service through video-conferencing informed officials in the Bangladesh prime minister's office.
They would also launch two railway bridges, built with Indian line of credit, and an "end-to-end" immigration facility to ease Dhaka-Kolkata 'Maitree' train services, they added.
"The train would be dubbed as 'Bandhan Express' and it will operate on the 177-km-long Khulna-Kolkata route. The cross-country service would start ferrying passengers from November 16," a Bangladesh railway spokesman told PTI.
As per the schedule, it would leave Kolkata at 11 am (Indian time) and reach Khulna after four-and-a-half-hour-long journey.
At present, Indians going to Bangladesh or Bangladeshis visiting India have to complete the immigration process at Darshana station in Bangladesh and at India's Gede point, where they have to wait for hours.
The two new bridges have been built on the Bhairab and the Titas rivers for the second track for simultaneous operation of up and down train services from Dhaka to southeastern Chittagong and northeastern Sylhet.
"We will call the new structures as the second Bhairab bridge and the second Titas bridge," a railway official said.
The 984-metre-long and seven-metre-wide Bhairab Railway Bridge was built at a cost of 567 crore Taka while the 218-metre-long and 70-metre-wide new Titas Bridge has been built at a cost of 161 crore Taka by two Indian companies.