Indian Railways is going to run a trans-continental container train full of goods from Dhaka to Istanbul, which would cover a 6,000-km journey across five countries – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
It is codenamed as ITI-DKD-Y corridor, the route the container train will follow will be Dhaka-Kolkata-Delhi-Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul.
Eventually, Yangon will also be connected to Dhaka after the missing Tamu-Kalay link in Myanmar is completed.
South Asian railway heads who are involved in the project have been called by Indian Railways at a high-level meeting on March 15-16.
The good part of the project is that a long-missing link of 150 km in Zahedan (which is in the Baluchestan province of Iran) has now been completed – which has further made Trans-Asian Railway Southern Corridor good-to-go all the way to Turkey after certain operational exchange of notes and coordination between the nations concerned happens.
There are various conferences and feasibility studies conducted by Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on rail network connecting Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey.
ESCAP has identified Dhaka-Kolkata-Delhi-Amritsar-Lahore-Islamabad-Zahedan-Tehran-Istanbul as the possible rail route.
The ITI-DKD route has the strategic advantage of connecting the capitals of these countries.
The demonstration run will happen very soon in 2017.