THE Chinese freight train that arrived recently in Madrid was first ever to reach Spain from that country.
Its 13,000-kilometre direct route from Yiwu on China’s east coast is the world’s longest and the train took three weeks to cross Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France.
A direct rail link will bring an enormous reduction in time and overheads for imports and exports between Spain and China, said Zhang Shuming, director of the Trade department in Xinjiang province.
These were not the only advantages, Shuming pointed out. The 3,155-kilometre journey between Malacheviche (Poland) and Madrid generated 44 tons of carbon dioxide, compared with 114 tons emitted by lorries transporting the same merchandise along the same route.
The train’s 40 containers arrived with 1,400 tons of consumer goods produced in Yiwu and for its return journey after Christmas it will be loaded with Spanish ham, wine and olive oil.