The first freight train service linking northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with Kazakhstan launched two weeks ago. The freight train, which was loaded with building materials and other commodities, left Jiuyuan Logistics Park in Baotou City. The 4,332-km trip to Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, was planned to take eight days.
On its return journey, the train will carry freight such as mineral resources, according to a Hohhot Railway Bureau official. Hohhot Railway Bureau built the logistics park, which features special platforms and storehouses for freight, at a cost of 1.3 billion yuan (195 million U.S. dollars).
“The new rail service, which follows the ancient Silk Road trade route, will support the regional export market,” said Lu Zhi, vice mayor of Baotou. Approximately 15 freight trains will make the journey this year.
Many cities, including Chengdu, Chongqing and Harbin, have launched freight services in order to boost trade with central Asia and Europe in recent years.