Page last updated at 23:16 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 00:16 UK

In Pictures: Dhaka-Calcutta train

The Friendship Express in Calcutta, India

The passenger train service between Calcutta in India and the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, has resumed after an interval of more than 40 years. (Picture: Subir Bhaumik)

The Friendship Express in Calcutta

Security was tight before the train service left Calcutta on Bengali New Year's Day on Monday for the inaugural 500km (310 mile) run to Dhaka, with another train running in the opposite direction.

The Friendship Express in Calcutta

The 360-seater Calcutta-Dhaka Friendship Express carried barely 65 passengers on its inaugural run, with many coaches empty. Authorities believe that the traffic will improve over time.

The Friendship Express rolls out of Calcutta

Public enthusiasm was palpable and thousands lined up on both sides of the railway track all the way along the route.

Preparations for the train link between India and Bangladesh

Fresh paint has been applied to the train, the first to connect India and Bangladesh since the latter was still part of Pakistan in 1965. (Picture: Amitabh Bhattasali)

preparations for the train link between India and Bangladesh

Around 70 Indian railwaymen worked on furnishing, painting and checking the electrical fittings of the train. (Picture: Amitabh Bhattasali)

preparations for the train link between India and Bangladesh

The service from what was then East Pakistan to Calcutta was suspended just after the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. (Picture: Amitabh Bhattasali)

preparations for the train link between India and Bangladesh

A new x-ray machine was installed at the platform. Some people oppose the train on political grounds, and fear it will lead to a rise in smuggling and people-trafficking.(Picture: Amitabh Bhattasali)

preparations for the train link between India and Bangladesh

But with ticket prices starting from around $8 (4), the train is likely to be popular with people wanting to visit relatives.(Picture: Amitabh Bhattasali)

preparations for the train link between India and Bangladesh

Direct buses between Dhaka and Calcutta began running for the first time in the 1990s, but the restoration of the rail link has great symbolic importance. (Picture: Amitabh Bhattasali)




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