China to Spain railway link

One of the world’s longest transport links was tried out a few weeks ago., the China to Spain rail link. The South China Morning Post (link) wrote that:

“The first freight train to link China directly to Spain arrived in Madrid on Tuesday after covering more than 13,000km in a test run of a planned regular service. The train left Yiwu, a major wholesale centre for small consumer goods, in eastern China on November 18 and passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France during its 21-day trip.”

And noted that already

“China has a regular direct freight train service to Germany, Europe’s largest economy. One route links Chongqing to Duisburg, a steel-making town and one of Germany’s most-important transportation and commercial hubs. Another links Beijing to Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city”.

Meanwhile the UK’s Independent newspaper (link), writing on the same story, said that

“Before the Yixin’ou line was opened, goods traded between Europe and China depended on inefficient sea or air transport, meaning higher prices in Europe”.

And that

“…. the line’s supporters hope that it will boost trade between the EU and China, which already stands at more than €1bn a day. Traders at both ends of the new track point out that the train provides a vastly faster service than seaborne goods and is substantially cheaper than air cargo”.


Transport mega-links of this type could even have geo-political consequences, strengthening a “Eurasian” commercial zone and weakening an “Atlantic” zone. Maybe someone could set up a GIS application to specifically model the land use and transport links in this land mass.


About roadnotes

Robert Bartlett is an international consultant with over 30 years of professional experience as a highway and traffic engineer with leading companies and organisations in several countries, including Germany, China (Hong Kong), Qatar and the UK. Specialised in urban studies, transport and the use of GIS, research has included new ideas on subjects such as the study of social justice using GIS, the dimensions of vehicles, and comparative geometrics (highways and transport).
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