THE Chongqing-Xinjiang-Eu- rope International Railway， a 10，000-km-plus rail route stretching from Chongqing in southwestern China to Duisburg， Germany has brought China and Europe closer together.
At present， the railway is operating both ways， continuously transporting China’s IT products， automobiles， motorcycles， mechanized equipment， and food to Europe， and carrying European automobiles and vehicle parts， medical facilities， daily necessities， metal， and manufactured goods to China， making expensive and slow sea freight a thing of the past.
Starting from Chongqing， via Kazakhstan， Russia， Belarus， and Poland the whole journey to Duisburg takes 13 days. The railway has become a major artery for construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt. Along with the ever-increasing quantity and variety of import and export commodities， the railway is gaining recognition in China and other countries along the line.
The Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway was launched in March 2011. As of the end of 2014， a total of 233 customized trains had traveled along the route， with the value of imports and exports transported totaling US $6.8 billion.
“Cheaper than air cargo and faster than sea freight” is the hallmark of this rail line. “The railway has fast-tracked Chongqing’s export sales to European countries，” said He Shizhong， vice chairman of the Chongqing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
“In the past， maritime transportation via the Yangtze River was both timeconsuming and labor-consuming. Now， the railway saves a great deal of time， which means saving costs，” said He. The railroad not only brings benefits to Chongqing， but also stimulates export sales of other areas in the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River.
Eighty percent of entrep？t trade via the Alataw Pass comes from the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Rail-way. According to He， the railway has hugely promoted Chongqing’s degree of openness and influence.
This year the railway will send some 260 special trains， with a volume of freight worth US $10 billion. The rail route has great potential to achieve China’s dream of the Belt and Road Initiatives.
“This railway largely overlaps the ancient Silk Road， and so has huge strategic importance. It enables Chongqing to better participate in the Belt and Road Initiatives， which are also an impetus for the development of the country’s western provinces.”