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Dalian-Bratislava rail freight link boosts ties

By Zhao Xiaomin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-28 10:38

The first China-Slovakia block train set off on Friday from Dalian, Liaoning province, linking Northeast China's biggest seaport with Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

Loaded with 41 20-foot equivalent units of electronic products, machinery parts and light industrial products, the train is heading for Bratislava via Russia and Ukraine.

"It will greatly reduce the heavy traffic of China-Europe freight trains in Malaszewicze, Poland," Duan Guoqiang, vice-president of Panjiang Logistics Co Ltd, said.

According to Duan, the products were shipped to Dalian from Zhejiang, Shandong and several other eastern coastal provinces in China.

"The time can be guaranteed. It takes about 15 days for the train to travel 10,537 kilometers and arrive at its destination in the center of Europe," he said.

At first, one freight train will depart from Dalian Port every Saturday, Duan said.

Under the guidance of China's Belt and Road Initiative, China-Europe freight train services have thrived in recent years, according to Wang Derong, executive vice-president of China Communications and Transportation Association.

As China Central Television reported, freight trains had connected 33 Chinese cities, such as Chongqing, Chengdu and Changsha, with 32 cities in 12 European countries by mid-September.

"In the past, trains entered Europe through Poland's Malaszewicze. This passage opens up a new gateway to the EU via Dopla, Slovakia," Wang said.

Dusan Bella, Slovakian ambassador to China, said the route will create new business opportunities for many European and Chinese companies.

"It will help logistics companies to diversify their transport corridors, opening for business new market places in Europe as well as in Northeast China, while reaching South Korea and Japan," he said.

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