The process for facilitating movement of Container trains from India to Bangladesh started in 2017 when an MoU was signed by Container Corporation of India and the Bangladesh Container Company Ltd. It was followed up by a trial run of the first container train from Kolkata to Bangabandhusetu West station (BBW) in April 2018.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, movement of goods between India and Bangladesh was disrupted due to restrictions imposed by both the countries. The High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das alongwith the Railway advisor at the High Commission Anita Barik took up the issue with Bangladesh authorities to facilitate container train services through the Benapole-Petrapole rail link. The container train service has been flagged off after the Bangladesh government agreed to the proposal.
The Railway Advisor in the High Commission of India Anita Barik told Prasar Bharti Special Correspondent at Dhaka that the Container Train Service is going to be a regular service connecting various terminals of Indian Railways network to Bangladesh.
Container Train Service is an additional service which is going to transport cargo by rail to Bangladesh other than the traditional Freight Trains Services and the newly introduced Parcel Train Service. Container train services are cost effective and safer to carry FMCG, chemicals and consumer durables requiring shorter transit time. In contrast, traditional freight trains carry bulk items like fertiliser, coal, iron ore and cement among others.