In a remarkable decision to boost trade, Indian Railways will soon run a freight train from Dhaka to Istanbul. This train will pass through five countries—Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, and it will cover a distance of about 6,000 kilometres.

Named as ITI-DKD freight route, the train will pass through Dhaka-Kolkata-Delhi-Amritsar-Lahore-Islamabad-Zahedan-Tehran-Istanbul.

Talking about the move, Mohammad Jamshed, Railway Board Member (Traffic) told Indian Express: “The demonstration run will happen very soon in 2017 and we will sort out all the issues with the countries concerned.

“It’s a great leap for South Asian regional connectivity in the rail sector. This will also demonstrate to the world that there can be a real, commercial trans-Asian container corridor of this magnitude in the rail sector,” he added.

According to media reports, all countries have on paper endorsed the project and have said that the demonstration is technically feasible.

On March 15-16, the Indian Railways has called a high-level meeting of all the heads involved in the project to discuss the plans. Pakistan Railway Chief Javed Anwar is also being invited.

Earlier in January this year, China sent a container train from East ‘hina’s Yiwu all the way to London via Germany, covering a distance of 12,000 km.