A new rail journey began on January 26 when the first-ever regular westbound train linking China with Italy left the Chinese city of Chengdu.
The train, carrying 40 containers, is due to arrive at Contship Italia’s Rail Hub Milano (RHM) terminal in 18 days.
The rail service, operated by Far East Land Bridge Company (FELB), will be the first-ever scheduled rail connection linking Italy to China. The service will run on a fortnightly basis and transition to a weekly operational basis in the near future.
The rail service crosses over eight countries – including Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Austria – and covers over 10,000km.
Due to the difference between European/Chinese and Russian rail gauges, the train will undergo two technical transfers; one on the boundary between Alashankou/Dostyk, and one in Brest/Malaszewicze.
The expected date of arrival of the inaugural service is February 12, and 40% of the incoming volumes are expected to be processed and relaunched through Contship Hannibal’s rail network. The eastbound Melzo-Chengdu trip is planned on Week 7, covering the same routing with the same number of containers.
For future departures, the service can also be used for cargo headed for France and Switzerland, as Hannibal will offer to FELB and its other clients, the Melzo-Frenkendorf and Melzo-Lyon rail links, creating with FELB an efficient corridor between China and South Europe.
To know more about the Melzo-Chengdu connection, you can read on the launch of the service here.