India and Bangladesh on Sunday launched regular operation of freight trains through the Haldibari – Chilahati Rail Route. Indian Railways dispatched the first freight train loaded with stones from Damdim Station of Northeast Frontier Railway to Bangladesh.
After the partition in 1947, 7 rail links were operational between India and the then East Pakistan (up to 1965). Presently, there are 4 operational rail links between India and Bangladesh. They are – Petrapole (India) – Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) – Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India)–Birol (Bangladesh). The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link is one such route which was operational till 1965.
The leadership of both India and Bangladesh are committed to revive all the pre-1965 railway links between the two countries. Hence, the restoration work was undertaken by the railways of both the countries to revive this rail link.
After the restoration, this railway link between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh) was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Ministers of India and of Bangladesh during the PM level virtual bilateral summit on 17.12.2020.
The Haldibari – Chilahati rail link is the 5th rail link between India and Bangladesh being made operational from 1st August 2021.