The first railway in East Bengal (then part of India, now the country of Bangladesh) opened in 1862, part of a line from Calcutta (now Kolkata) in West Bengal to Poradaha. About 33 miles (53 km) of this line lay in East Bengal. It was built to the broad gauge of 5ft 6in (1675mm). Although this gauge was adopted as standard for the majority of main line railways in the Indian subcontinent, subsequent railway construction in East Bengal was predominantly of metre gauge. Since the latter part of the 20th century, some of the metre gauge lines have been converted to broad gauge.
The Bangladeshi railway network today is extensive but considerable areas of the country are unserved owing to the difficulties of a terrain with many watercourses and land that is frequently flooded. There are several international connections with the Indian network, but for many years only one was used by passenger trains. In 2020, a former route closed in the 1960s was restored, providing an additional passenger and freight link.
© 2005-2023 Glyn Williams
Image from deshi train