Successful first round trip on world's longest railway

Successful first 16,156-mile round trip of cargo train from China to Spain brings promise of increased trade.
The first cargo train 'Yixinou' from China's Yiwu to Spanish capital Madrid was unveiled in November 2014 (STR/AFP/Getty Images).
The first cargo train 'Yixinou' from China's Yiwu to Spanish capital Madrid was unveiled in November 2014 (STR/AFP/Getty Images).

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SEE PHOTOS OF THE TRAIN'S TRIP HERE

The first train to complete a 16,156-mile round trip on the world’s longest railway line, connecting Spain and China, has returned home, reports UK-newspaper The Independent.  

The four-month maiden journey on the new Yixin’ou cargo line taking in China, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France and Spain departed for Spanish capital Madrid with with low-price consumer goods and returned to China with olive oil and other Spanish-made goods becoming popular in the Asian powerhouse. 

The 82-container cargo train began its journey in November 2014 in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu. It arrived in Madrid on 14 December in time for the thousands of shops and Christmas markets to stock their shelves with the Chinese goods on board.

Before the Yixin’ou line was opened, goods traded between Europe and China depended on inefficient sea or air transport, meaning higher prices in Europe.

“The cargo train will boost economic exchange between Yiwu, the world’s largest small commodity market, and Madrid, Europe’s largest small commodity market,” said Li Huihuan, manager of Yiwu CF International Logistics, which operates the train.

Trade between the EU and China generates $1bn-$1.2bn each day and the train provides a faster link than sending goods via ocean freight while being far cheaper than air cargo.

The line is 450 miles longer than the previous record holder, the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connects Vladivostok in the east of Russia, to Moscow.

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