Train journeys are fun, beautiful and a great way to see the beauty of a country. Train journeys in India are more nostalgia inducing, almost an integral part of every Indian's life. From Mumbai's local trains to Shimla's toy train, every train journey in India is an experience. But when it comes to taking an international train journey, the one and only place that comes to mind is Europe. Eurail (Europe's international train system) is not only one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Europe, but also an integral part of a Euro Trip.
But what if I tell you that to experience an international train journey, you don't have to go to Europe? Yes, not as many as Europe, but there are still three international journeys that start from India as well. Read on to know more about these iconic train rides.
India - Pakistan
There are two trains from India to Pakistan, Samjhauta Express and Thar Link Express. The Samjhauta Express is the most popular train route to travel from India to Pakistan. It starts from Atari Junction in Amritsar and goes to Lahore Junction in Pakistan. That Link Express starts from Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station in Jodhpur in India, and ends at Karachi Cantonment in Karachi in Pakistan.
The train number is 14607 and the ticket for the same can only be booked offline at the Atari Junction in Amritsar. To book the ticket for the same, you first need to apply for a Pakistan Visa and have the approved Visa. You can not purchase the train tickets without a valid Pakistan Visa. The train starts at 11.30am from India and after covering a distance of 27km in 4hour 10 minutes, reaches Lahore at 3.40pm. This train has only one stop, at Wagah in Punjab. It runs twice a week, on Monday and Thursday.
Thar Link Express
The train number is 14890 and the ticket for the same can also only be booked offline after obtaining a valid Pakistan Visa. The train begins its journey in India from the Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station in Jodhpur, traveling westwards from Balotra - Barmer - Manabao, where it crosses the border to Pakistan, traveling along a stretch of the Hyderabad–Khokhrapar Branch Line and Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line. The trip takes approximately 12 hours and 15 minutes to cover a published distance of 381 kilometres, departing from Bhagat Ki Kothi every Saturday 1am and arriving at Munabao at 7am. After customs, it crosses the border into Pakistan and arrives at Zero Point at 2.30pm(Pakistan local time) and reaches Karachi Cantonment at 2.15pm (Pakistan local time) on Sunday.
India - Bangladesh
India and Bangladesh also have two trains running between them, Maitree Express and Bandhan Express. The Maitree Express was started in 2008 and has been successfully running for a decade now. It runs between Kolkata and Dhaka. Bandhan Express was flagged off in November 2017, and has been running successfully for last 8 months. It runs between Kolkata and Khulna.
The Maitree Express runs between Kolkata and Dhaka. It runs six days a week from each side. The train travels around 375 km to reach Dhaka from Kolkata. There are two immigration checks, one is Gede (Indian side) and the other is Dorshona (Bangladesh side). The train starts at 7.10am from Kolkata and reaches Dhaka at 4.05pm. The tickets for the same can be bought offline at Kolkata railway station and can only be bought after obtaining a valid Bangladesh Visa.
Initially referred to as Maitree Express II, Bandhan Express was launched in November 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Bandhan Express starts from Kolkata, stopping at Dum Dum and Bangaon in Inida and crossing the border at Petrapole. The train reaches Benapole on border at Bangladesh's side, going through Jhikargachha & Jashore, before reaching Khulna railway station in Bangladesh. Tickets for the same are only issued after issue of the visa, and passports must be shown while booking.
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