The first freight train from China arrived in London. A cargo train departed from the province of Zhejiang and reached the terminal station crossing Eurasia in 18 days. The train traveled almost 12,000 kilometers. Its route passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France. The trains are planned to set off on this route every week, because the rail route is faster than sea routes, and cheaper compared to air transit. China has significantly expanded rail freight transportation to the European countries within the project the “New Silk Road”, which involves Kazakhstan’s direct participation. The country has become a bridge between Europe and Asia. England is the 18th European country with which China has established a direct rail connection.

PHILIPPA EDMUNDS, MEMBER, CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER TRANSPORT:

It is quicker by sea. It is much important route. It is much cleaner and cheaper than air freight by 20 times. Less pollution than air freight. It is very important from a climate change point of view. We need to use rails as much as we can.

China considers Kazakhstan as an entry point for the supply of the Chinese goods not only to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, but also to Europe. The main advantage of transporting goods through Kazakhstan, according to the diplomat, is the delivery terms - not only it is shorter, but roughly 10 times cheaper than other means.

ZHANG HANHUI, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN:

From the most southern Guangdong Province many cargo trains were sent by railway in Germany, even in the UK through Kazakhstan. If by sea, it took almost 1.5 months, but it takes 18 days to deliver to the UK through Kazakhstan. This is efficient.

Korean businessmen are also interested in great prospects that the continental transportation opens on the route of the Silk Road through the port of Lianyungang in China and the dry port of the Special Economic Zone Khorgos - Eastern Gate in Kazakhstan. As experts note, these two ports in China and Kazakhstan are the centers for consolidation of freight traffic. According to experts, Kazakhstan has already gained experience in organization of container trains from Lianyungang terminal in Europe and Turkey, and now the plans are being worked out to attract cargo from Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia. 

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