Train ferry across Bohai launched

Updated: 2006-11-06 14:03

A freight train ferry left Lushun in Dalian City, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, at 8 a.m. Monday for Yantai, a port city in East China's Shandong Province, marking the start of railway transport across the Bohai Sea.

It is the first train ferry on the Bohai Sea, a horseshoe-shaped sea with an area of 77,000 square kilometers in North China.

The ferry, a roll-on-roll-off vessel 182.6 meters in length and 24.8 meters wide, can carry a 50-car freight train, 50  20-ton trucks, 25 passenger cars and 480 passengers.

But for the first voyage from Lushun to Yantai, the specially built ferry was only loaded with 50 railway cars carrying cargo such as timber and grain. It is expected to reach Yantai in six hours.

The new ferry service cuts the trip from Yantai to Dalian by 1,800 kilometers. Currently, more than 18 million tons of cargo and 7 million people travel  between Dalian and Yantai a year.

It is the second marine ferry service in China and the longest. The first rail transport ferry sails in the Qiongzhou Strait in South China, connecting Haikou on Hainan Island with  Hai'an in Guangdong Province.

The launch of Monday's ferry service is expected to help rejuvenate China's aging industrial area in the northeast.

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