CRI在线收听:Urumchi in Xinjiang on the way to Belt and Road transit hub


At the service hub for China Railway Express in Urumqi, a cargo train loaded with construction materials is leaving for Europe.

He Jun is the vice president of Xinjiang China-Europe Logistics. He says China Railway Express has been working to cut both time and costs for its freight services.

"The cargo is being mostly delivered to Russia's capital, Moscow. Each train has a total of 82 cars. The service has been able to reduce transport costs by around 20 percent. Also, it used to take 20 days to deliver cargo to Moscow, but now it only takes eight or nine days."

China Railway Express' Urumqi line to Europe started operation in 2016.

The express train is one month faster than shipping to Moscow by container ship, and ten days faster than normal trains.

Urumqi is now the departure point for 19 different routes currently being run by China Railway Express. The routes service 24 cities in 17 different countries in Europe and Asia.

Xie Heng is a delivery driver with China Railway Express.

"There are more and more China Railway Express lines running into Europe. The speed of trains is increasing. They can now run 120 kilometers per hour. And unlike in the past, where cargo was mostly just metal products, today the trains are carrying a much wider variety of cargo, including auto parts, stationery, sporting goods and tomato sauce, among other things. The variety is increasing."

Li Liangfu, vice president of Zhongtai Chemical, says the train services run out of Urumqi have been key for his firm, noting his companty's sales to Central Asia and Europe have now surpassed 50 billion yuan.

"Thanks to China Railway Express to Europe, its much easier to sell our products to Central Asia and Europe, and also import foreign products to China. It has not only increased the competitiveness of Zhongtai, but also promoted our connection with companies there. It's mutually beneficial."

China Railway Express in Urumqi has inked deals with over 200 import and export firms dealing with products ranging from commodities to clothes, as well as mechanical equipment and electronic components.

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