Chengdu charting new standards in international rapid transit

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-01 09:24
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Overhead cranes load a train in the Chengdu International Railway Port in the city's Qingbaijiang district. CHINA DAILY

China-Europe Railway Express a crucial component of modern Silk Road

As an important part of the ancient Silk Road, Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan province has a long history of economic exchange with the rest of the world despite an ancient poem stating that the road to Sichuan is harder than climbing to the heaven.

With the Belt and Road Initiative gaining momentum, Chengdu has created a modern Silk Road by using the China-Europe Railway Express to transform the region's foreign trade landscape.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI and the China-Europe (Chengdu) Railway Express. The inaugural railway express left for Lodz, Poland, in April 2013, which has established a direct link between Chengdu and Europe.

Over the past decade, the trains have garnered international recognition for frequent departures, extensive coverage and efficient transportation.

Transit time for the service has decreased from 22 days during the first year to less than half that today, so that the value and volume of transported cargo have demonstrated a remarkable upward trend.

Official data show that China-Europe Railway Express transportation costs are one-fifth of airfreight, while the transit time is one-fourth of sea transportation.

The trains carry made-in-China and made-in-Sichuan products to European countries and bring back German cars, French wines, Russian wood and Polish beef.

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