First container train from China enters Iran through Turkmenistan


ASHGABAT (TCA) — The first regular container train running from China through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran on February 10 entered Iran through Turkmenistan’s Serahs rail station, the State Information Agency of Turkmenistan reported.  

The container train linking China and Iran departed from Yiwu City in east China’s Zhejiang Province loaded with Chinese small commodities on January 28. The train left China through Alataw Pass in Xinjiang, the westernmost Chinese region, after covering 4,491 kilometers in China in five days. Then the train passed through Kazakhstan in four days, covering 3,417 kilometers.

The Turkmen part of this transnational route is 1,156 kilometers long and takes two days.

In three days, the train will reach its final destination, Tehran.

The total length of the China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway route is nearly 10 thousand kilometers and the whole journey takes almost two weeks, which is twice as fast as shipment by sea which takes 25-30 days.

The railway route is the shortest cargo transit link between China and the Middle East. In the future, it can also be used for passenger service. The new route will also give a strong impetus to the development of Caspian countries, giving them the access to the markets of China, India, Pakistan, and the Asia-Pacific region.  

Catering to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the new train link is expected to further promote China’s cooperation with Middle Eastern countries.

Sergey Kwan