BANGLADESH: International passenger services between Kolkata and Dhaka resumed with the launch of the Maitreyi Express on April 14 after a break of 43 years. Cross-border operations were suspended in 1965 as a result of the Indo-Pakistan war, although an agreement to restore freight services was signed in 2001. IR and BR began negotiations to reinstate passenger trains in July 2007 (RG 8.07 p467).
The first eastbound train was dispatched from Kolkata by India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The six-car train took almost 15 h for the 500 km trip, with 4 h allowed for border security procedures. Services will operate twice a week in each direction.