A FREIGHT train from Yiwu in eastern China to Madrid in Spain takes three weeks to cover more than 10,000 kilometres in eight countries – or over twice the distance from Sydney to Perth and back, making it the longest freight train journey in the world.
First run in November 2014 the YXE International Container Train has so far made more than thirty such trips, each time carrying around 80 containers packed with Chinese-made toys, tradesmen’s hand-tools, computer parts, kitchen gadgets, clothing, stationery and fashion trinkets for Madrid’s outdoor markets.
And returning with Spanish-made olive oil, wine, sunflower oil and cured ham for an increasingly affluent Chinese market-place.
Passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, the Yiwu-Madrid freight train is in fact four separate trains, as all 80-plus containers on board have to be moved to different freight wagons hauled by different locomotives on three occasions due to differing rail gauges in those other countries.
But despite this, the train still takes just half the six weeks it would take to move those containers by sea.
And Yiwu, where the journey begins, is the world’s biggest centre for fake goods –with Chinese-made counterfeits of countless of the world’s top names and brands on offer at its vast wholesale market-place.
ABOUT to leave on the world’s now-longest freight train journey, the Yiwu (eastern China) to Madrid freight train will cover 10,000+ kilometres in three weeks. (YXE International.)