China-Europe freight trains via Xinjiang hit record high in 2020

URUMQI, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) — A record number of 9,679 inbound and outbound China-Europe freight trains passed through northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2020, according to China Railway Urumqi Group Co. Ltd.

The number of trains traveling through Alataw Pass reached 5,027 in 2020, up 41.8 percent year on year, while those through Horgos Port totaled 4,652, up 37 percent year on year.

Sources with the company said a large quantity of goods previously transported to Europe via air and sea shifted to the China-Europe freight train last year.

Local railway authorities expanded the capacity of the Alataw Pass and th Horgos Port and optimized the operation of production in 2020. Through better coordination among railway, customs, border control authorities as well as Kazak authorities, the time a train needed to pass the border was reduced to less than one hour from 10 hours, the sources said.

Currently, 22 lines run through Alataw Pass, reaching 13 countries including Germany and Poland, and 16 lines travel through Horgos Port to over 10 countries including Uzbekistan.

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