Reference rates23.04.2018 / 1.2238 / 7.7208
2 Days From China To Europe By Rail? Russia Going For High-Speed Cargo Trains
I’ve written extensively about the emerging network of trans-Eurasian direct cargo trains that is rapidly linking together dozens of cities in China and Europe. I often boast that these trains can make this 9,000-12,000 kilometer journey in less than two weeks — and sometimes in as little as 10.5 days. Then a reader named Tony Restall left a comment on an article about the new train from the east of China to London and taunted:
“12,000 kms in 16 days — seems like the Slow Train from China.”
He then did the math which showed that if these trains were to travel around the clock, their average speed would only equate to 30-40 kilometers per hour.
While I explained that although these are direct trains that have a special “express” categorization, that doesn’t mean they’re moving non-stop around the clock. Through China, Central Asia, and Russia these trains make around 1,100 kilometers per day, while in Europe, where the rail network is more condense, their daily coverage drops to around 350 to 400 kilometers. But he had a point: although this is one of the faster cargo rail networks on the planet, it's really not going that fast.
“Double the speed = 8 days. Now that would be interesting,” he added.
But this is precisely what China and Russia intend to do — and more.
Russia, a country which knows the benefits of trans-continental rail transport perhaps better than any other (Russia’s Trans-Siberian line is the main thoroughfare of the New Silk Road’s northern rail corridor), is looking to develop the most technologically advanced rail network on the planet. Last month during a meeting of the United Russia Party, Russian Railways President Oleg Belozerov declared that his country would become the vanguard of a movement to extend high-speed cargo rail lines across their country, connecting China with Europe.
"We plan to reach China via Kazakhstan and to carry special, high-profit cargoes to Europe via Russia,” he said.