Belgium and China now linked by rail

The Port of Antwerp is a busy international freight hub. Photo credit – Pixabay

Belgium and China now linked by rail

The inaugural train service between Tangshan in China and Antwerp has arrived in the Belgian Port.

The 11,000 KM journey took a rapid 16 days to complete, loaded with over 40 containers.

Arriving earlier this week, the service marks the first direct train between China and Belgium.

Previously, containers between the two countries either had to make the long journey by sea, or connecting by rail via other services, such as those from Germany.

The news comes just weeks after we reported that there’s been an astonishing growth in the number of train services between China and Europe over the course of the last year.

Apparently, there were 75 percent more trains in the first quarter of this year, when compared to 2017.

For regular readers, that news won’t come as a surprise.

As we’ve reported over the last few weeks, ten years ago, there were no direct train services linking Chinese and European cities. Now, there are 34 cities in Europe and 35 in China linked by such routes.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative has been widely credited with having been the driving force behind the phenomenal growth of the rail freight connections over the last decade.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid