A direct train between Dhaka and Kolkata, named Maitree Express (Maitree is a Sanskrit word meaning friendship) commenced on 14 April 2008. The train is managed by Indian Railways and Bangladesh Railway. The approximate distance covered by Maitree Express is estimated at around 538 kilometres (334 mi), a stretch of 120 kilometres (75 mi) in India and a stretch of 418 kilometres (260 mi) in Bangladesh. The train follows the border point route at Gede-Darshana. The train runs on Saturdays and Sundays every week. Passengers of the Maitree Express are irked by the five-hour wait for immigration and customs clearance at the border stations of Darshana and Gede.
Currently, all freight traffic originating from Asia destined for Europe goes by sea. The Trans-Asian Railway will enable containers from Singapore, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Korea to travel over land by train to Europe. The Southern Corridor of the Trans-Asian Railway is of prime interest to India. It connects Yunnan in China and Thailand with Europe via Turkey and passes through India.
The proposed route will enter India through Tamu and Moreh in Manipur bordering Myanmar, then enter Bangladesh through Mahisasan and Shabajpur and again enter India from Bangladesh at Gede. On the western side, the line will enter Pakistan at Attari. There is a 315 kilometres (196 mi) missing link on this route in the India-Myanmar sector; of this, 180 kilometres (110 mi), in India, is between Jiribam in Manipur and Tamu in Myanmar. The rail link between Jiribam and Imphal has been sanctioned by Indian Railways, but that is unlikely to be completed before 2016. At present construction work is in progress in a 97 kilometres (60 mi) stretch between Jiribam and Tupul.