China-Germany container train begins formal operation

Updated: 2006-11-03 14:30

The first transcontinental container train running between north China to Germany has begun formal operation after a 20-month test run, said a local railway official.

The train, which can carry 100 international standard containers, will travel 9,814 km over 15 days through six countries from Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, to Frankfurt in Germany.

Named "Ruyi", which means "complying with one's wishes" in Chinese, the train had run the route 13 times since tests began in March last year, said Yang Junjie, an official with the Hohhot Railway Bureau.

The train would cut transport times and costs, said Guo Jian, another official with the Hohhot Railway Bureau.

Ruyi took just 14.5 days to run from Hohhot to Duisburg in Germany, while a container ship took at least 40 days, said Guo.

Launched by companies in China's Inner Mongolia, Mongolia, the Republic of Belarus, Russia and Germany, the transnational train would take coke to Duisburg, andalusite to Slovakia and home appliances to the Czech Republic and Romania.

It would bring back raw materials for electronic products and home appliances.

With an annual freight capacity of 2,500 containers, or 50,000 tons, the train will operate twice a month.

It had taken 620 standard containers, weighing 12,400 tons, holding rare-earth minerals from Inner Mongolia, rapeseed from northwest China's Gansu Province and textiles from south China's Guangdong Province, to Europe to date, said Yang.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)