The distance between Dhaka and Khulna will be reduced by half after commercial train movement begins on the Padma Bridge after its completion in June next year, said the Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan.
The distance from Kolkata to Dhaka will also be halved, said the minister during a press briefing following the first trial run of train movement from Kamalapur to Bhanga through the Padma Bridge.
The railway line will lead up to Jashore when the project is completed. However, till then train movement will begin on the Padma Bridge on 10 October and trains will be operated on Dhaka to Bhanga via Gendaria, Nimtali, Padma station and Shibchar station on the other side of Padma Bridge.
He said that the construction of railway line from Khulna to Mongla Port is also in the final stage.
After its completion, a rail link will be established from Dhaka to Mongla.
Besides, the project will also play a role in improving the fortunes of the people of the South Western region by increasing domestic and foreign trade.
Earlier, on Thursday (7 September) train movement from Dhaka's Kamalapur to Faridpur's Bhanga Junction via Padma Bridge began on a trial basis.
The new locomotive supplied by Progress Rail Locomotives Inc. of the United States took off with the seven-coach train at 10:07am and reached Bhanga junction railway station at 12:18pm.
With this trial run, trains are running for the first time on the newly constructed 82km track.
There will be 20 stations from Dhaka to Jashore. Out of these, 14 new stations are being built anew and the existing ones are being modernised. Once completed, the trains will be able to run at a speed of 120 to 130 kmph.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate this railway on 10 October.