In March this year BR awarded PT Inka, Indonesia, a Taka 5.62bn ($US 71m) contract to supply 150 stainless steel-bodied passenger coaches, comprising 50 broad-gauge and 100 metre-gauge vehicles.

The Sonar Bangla Express is formed of 16 metre-gauge vehicles, seating up to 746 in three classes: Snigdha Chair (air-conditioned), Shovon Chair and AC Berth.

The service operates daily except Saturdays and makes just one intermediate stop at Dhaka Airport. The southbound train departs from Dhaka Kamalapur at 07.00 and arrives at Chittagong at 12.40, with the northbound train departing from Chittagong at 17.00 and arriving in the capital at 22.40.