Dhaka, Kolkata plan to cut train travel time
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The timetable of Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train Maitree Express will be rescheduled to let passengers reach their destinations in daytime, according to a proposed plan, reports bdnews24.com.

Besides, the railway authorities of Bangladesh and India are likely to reduce the time for customs and immigration formalities in Darsana and Gede stations.

According to the new proposal, the customs and immigration formalities will be completed in three hours—one and a half hours for Darsana and Gede each.

The reduced time for customs and immigration formalities will save passengers two hours in travel time, meaning passengers will be able to reach their destinations in 11 hours instead of the present 13 hours.

According to the new proposed timetable, a Kolkata-bound train will leave the Cantonment Station at 7.30am and reach the bordering station at 1.30pm.

A Dhaka-bound train will start from Chitpur Station in Kolkata at 8.30am (Indian time) and reach the bordering station Gede at 10.30am. "We have sent a proposal to the Indian authorities to reschedule the timetable so that passengers can reach their destinations in daytime," Quazi Asadullah, additional director general (operations) of Bangladesh Railway, told bdnews24.com.

"If the time for customs and immigration is reduced, train services will be better than Dhaka-Kolkata bus services," he said. Dhaka-Kolkata direct passenger train services took off on April 14.

Passengers spent five hours for completing customs and immigration formalities in Darsana and Gede at the time. At present, a train starts from Dhaka at 8.30am and reaches Kolkata at 9.30pm. Passengers face difficulty travelling into the heart of Kolkata at night.

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