The officials of Railway have conducted a test run on the newly-built railway lines in Chilahati of Nilphamari which will connect the Haldibari station in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal.
The rail link between Bangladesh-India will be re-established after 55 years on 16 December, on the occasion of Victory Day. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will officially inaugurate the railway through a videoconference on the day.
With the inauguration, it will meet the 55-year long demands of the people of this region.
Omar Faruk of Chilahati in Nilphamari said the capacity of the newly-built railway, in the Bangladesh part, was tested on Sunday morning by running a trial engine with five freight coaches.
"It is a good aspect for the business in the Rangpur region, and also a positive sign for the Bangladesh-India economy," he said.
Tozammel Hossain Monju of Nilphamari said that the northern region people want to see the implementation of this railway line, and it will play a lead role in Bangladesh-India trades.
According to Bangladesh Railway sources, the Kolkata-Darjeeling train used to run on this railway line. It started operation from the British reign and continued until the Pak-India war in 1965.
In line with passenger trains, cargo trains also used to run on this track. After the Pak-India war, the then governments of the two countries removed 4.34 km of railway lines from Haldibari in India to Zero Point and 6.724 km from Chilahati in Nilphamari to Zero Point on the border.
Since then, the railway has been abandoned.
After independence, the Indian government agreed to reopen the Chilahati-Haldibari railway.
The Indian government has already constructed 4.34 km of railway lines from the Haldibari railway station to Zero Point at the cost of Rs31 crore. Recently, the Indian Railways has also run a trial engine on the newly-built railways to assess its capacity.
In the Bangladesh part, the construction of a 6.45 km railway line has been completed at the cost of Tk80.17 crore. Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan visited the newly-built railway on 26 August.
After the inauguration, freight trains will run between India and Bangladesh in the first phase. In the second phase, passenger trains will also start operation on this track.
Gradually, the communication system of Bangladesh with India, as well as Bhutan and Nepal, will be facilitated.
Md Nurul Islam Sujan, the minister for railways, said that Chilahati-Haldibari is an essential route for rail communication with India.
"The present government formed a separate Ministry of Railways in 2011 to make the rail communication system up-to-date, modern, and affordable. Under this ministry, massive development has been made in the rail communication of the country."
As part of the development, the Chilahati-Haldibari railway line was constructed. It will strengthen the economy of the region, added the minister.