The train left for Bangladesh with 60 containers loaded with almost 1,200 tonnes of de-oiled cake, used as a raw material for animal feed. It will pass through Sealdah, Naihati, Ranaghat and Gede in India and Darsana and Ishurdi in Bangladesh before reaching Bangabandhu West station, 117 kilometres off capital city of Dhaka.
General Manager of Eastern Railway Zone, Harindra Rao, said the train would make customs procedures easier and deliver consignments before sunset. Reportedly, exporters’ forums had been lobbying for container trains to help them save time and significantly cut costs. The frequency of the train will be finalized based on demand.
Currently, the trade between India and Bangladesh is largely road-based. Reportedly, it takes almost a month for an Indian truck to reach Bangladesh through the congested Petrapole-Benapole border, with customs clearance alone taking nearly 25 days. The train is also likely to resolve the capacity constraints of sea and land routes.