Asia: China – Iran Freight Train Makes Inaugural Direct Journey

Image courtesy of ARA

A freight train travelling from China is currently making its way through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to arrive in Tehran, Iran. The train departed Yiwi in China via the  Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region on 28 January 2016, and will arrive on 11 February having travelled 10,399km.

Yiwi is also the Chinese hub for trains travelling all the way from Madrid, Spain and Duisberg, Germany. Economic agreements with affected countries through Eurasia mean that China’s Silk Road Economic Belt programme is well underway.

The project is funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with a $40billion capital investment. Iran’s central location gives it pivotal importance in the project’s success.

High level meetings between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 23 January 2016 resulted in plans to increase trade between the two countries by the power of ten over the next ten years.

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