New freight train route connects China, Germany

JINAN, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The first two-way China-Europe freight train route linking east China's port city of Qingdao in Shandong Province with Mannheim in Germany entered service on Friday.

Aerial photo taken on March 11, 2020 shows a China-Europe freight train bound for Mannheim of Germany departing from the Xinzhu Railway Station in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province. (Photo by Tang Zhenjiang/Xinhua)

The first outbound train, which departed from Qingdao, is carrying raw chemical materials, auto parts, daily necessities and other goods worth about 2.5 million U.S. dollars. It will leave China via the Alataw Pass port in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and reach its destination in Germany in about 19 days, according to operator Shandong Hi-speed Group.

On the same day, a train loaded with sheet materials left Mannheim and is expected to enter China via Erenhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and arrive in Qingdao in mid-March.

In 2021 alone, over 1,800 China-Europe freight trains were handled in Shandong Province. Via a total of 51 international train routes, goods from Shandong can reach 54 cities and 23 countries along the Belt and Road, according to the group.