The first Yiwu – Madrid freight train has arrived on Tuesday at Adif’s Madrid Abroñigal railway logistics terminal, its final destination. The “Yixinou” pilot train left Yiwu, the largest wholesale hub for small consumer goods in China, on the 18th of November and traveled in 21 days over 13,000 km, passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France.
The distance covered by the container train is longer than the sum of the well – known Trans-Siberian Railway corridor and Orient Express train route (12.250 km).
Internationally operated by IRS (InterRail Services) and DB Schenker Rail (DB Schenker Rail Polska, DB Schenker Deutschland and ECR France), in Spain the train was operated by Transfesa. Due to different track gauges on the route, the transshipment of containers was carried out at three border points Dostyk (Kazakhstan), Brest (Belarus) and Irun (Spain). The 1400 tonnes gross weight train, transporting 40 containers up to Brest and 30 from Brest to Spain, also changed locomotives almost every 800 km.
The results of the pilot transport will be analysed in order to develop a permanent and bidirectional railway corridor between China and Spain, similar to the one established between Germany and China, served by at least five trains/week.