China-Europe freight train service connects northern Chinese city, Serbia

This aerial photo taken on Aug. 29, 2023 shows a freight train loaded with auto parts, home appliances and textile products pulling out of the Xiahuayuan railway cargo terminal in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province. (Photo by Wu Diansen/Xinhua)

SHIJIAZHUANG, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A new international freight train route linking Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, with Belgrade, Serbia's capital city, began operations on Thursday.

The cargo train will travel approximately 10,200 km over roughly 20 days, starting at the Shijiazhuang International Land Port and passing through the Alashankou Port in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region before reaching Serbia, according to Gao Xiang, a manager with Hebei International Land Port Co., Ltd.

It's the first China-Europe freight train service to connect north China's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region with Serbia, providing transportation support for in-depth cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The train is loaded with 110 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of goods valued at about 20 million yuan (about 2.82 million U.S. dollars), including auto parts and mechanical equipment.

The new service is expected to establish a new route for economic and trade exchanges between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and Serbia and other BRI participating countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This will help facilitate more business opportunities and promote economic development, said Gao.

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