‘Silk Railroad’ dream comes true on Wednesday

ISTANBUL 

The first freight train, which will go to Czechia from China uninterruptedly via Turkey on Wednesday, makes the dream of the Silk Railroad come true.

The real Silk Road was a trade route, which was active between the second-century B.C. and the 18th century, from China to Europe through Anatolia and the Mediterranean.

Within the scope of One Belt One Road Initiative, which aims to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe via road and sea lanes, a freight train will go to Czechia’s capital Prague from Xian — the capital city of Shaanxi Province in central China — through Istanbul’s Marmaray sub-sea tunnel uninterruptedly for the first time.

The train, which will go to Prague on a railway of 11,500 kilometers (7,145 miles), will carry electronic goods with 42 containers, said Fatih Erdogan, the head of logistic company Pasifik Eurasia – which undertook the railway’s Turkey section.

“As a result of significant cooperation with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkic republics, we will conduct the first rail transportation through China-Europe corridor,” he stressed in a press conference in Istanbul.

China and Europe’s trade volume is around $21 trillion while only 3% of the transportation of this trade is made through railway, he noted.

He added that the first transfer on Wednesday is so important because it will be the beginning of trade through this corridor.

Turkey has geopolitical importance and several opportunities in railway transportation, he highlighted.

The railway will reduce the transportation time between China and Turkey from one month to 12 days, while the whole road from Xian to Prague will take 18 days.

The train will be welcomed in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.

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