The first freight train carrying goods from Turkey to China is set to depart on Friday en route to Georgia before entering the Caspian Sea transit, the General Directorate of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) said Thursday.
According to the statement, 10 block trains have been successfully operated on the China-Turkey-Europe line so far, in addition to the first transit train that departed China and reached Europe in November 2019.
The first freight train from Turkey to China will be sent off by Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu from Kazlıçeşme station on Istanbul’s European side.
The train is scheduled to pass through the Marmaray tunnel connecting Istanbul's Asian and European sides beneath the Bosporus at 2 p.m. local time.
It will pass Istanbul, northwestern Kocaeli province, the capital Ankara, central Sivas province and eastern Kars province and will make a stop at Akhalkalaki Station in Georgia.
It will then travel across Azerbaijan, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) and Kazakhstan before entering China’s Xi'an province.
The train, which will be operated in cooperation with Pasifik Eurasia, TCDD’s official forwarder firm, will carry major appliances in 42 containers. It will travel 8,693 kilometers (5,402 miles) in total, pass through two continents, two seas and five countries, and deliver its cargo to China in 12 days.