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High-speed freight train pilot program connects Chongqing and Zhengzhou

Updated: Feb 1, 2024 By TAN YINGZI and DENG RUI in Chongqing China Daily Print
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Dedicated high-speed cargo trains have started running daily between Chongqing in the country's southwest and Zhengzhou in Central China's Henan province.

The pilot program launched on Jan 15 seeks to capitalize on the Zhengzhou-Chongqing High-speed Railway line that has only carried high-speed passenger trains since opening in 2022.

According to China Railway Express, the operator of the trains, the DJ5811 from Zhengzhou to Chongqing and the DJ5812 coming the other way, can carry up to 15 metric tons on each trip, and with each 1,028-kilometer trip taking less than 5 hours.

Previously, the two trains only served to inspect the track each day before the operation of passenger services.

Fresh food, biopharmaceuticals, business correspondence and electronic products, will be among the cargo.

The trains are as fast as air transportation and one day faster than by road, according to the operator.

China Railway Chengdu Group said Henan, the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle and the Yangtze River Economic Belt have become more closely connected since the line opened.

"We are planning to open express services along the China-Europe freight trains routes and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor to achieve a better integration of Chongqing's manufacturing industry and the high-speed railway," said Fan Qiang from Chongqing Logistics Group.

According to Tu Zhao, deputy director of the multimodal transport department at Chongqing Port and Logistics Office, efforts will be made to build Chongqing into a crucial national hub for high-speed rail freight.

This will involve expanding high-speed rail logistics routes that connect with the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Chongqing, located on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, is an international logistics hub. The municipality is a strategic pivot point for national development programs in western regions and is a connecting point serving the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

Over the past six years, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor's logistics network has connected Europe with Southeast Asia, with Chongqing as a key rail hub, and now reaches 490 ports in 120 countries and regions, said Liu Wei, director of the trade corridor's coordination center for logistics and operation.

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