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China-Europe Freight Train Traffic Is Booming

Nov. 20 -China-Europe freight train traffic broke all records this year, with more than 3,000 cargo trains traveling on 57 lines between cities at either end–surpassing the past six years combine–according to a Nov. 18 Xinhua report. For example, freight on the the Yiwu-Madrid line, only inaugurated in November 2014, rose 54% in the first ten months of 2017, compared to the same period of 2016. All of this, Xinhua noted, “is considered a significant part of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Chinese urban rail transit is also booming. The executive vice president of the China Association of Metros, Zhou Xiaoqin, announced that, as of the end of June, 31 Chinese cities had urban rail systems in operation, with a total length of 3,965 km. Beijing and Shanghai each had systems exceeding 500 km in length. Another 53 cities have started building systems, and by 2020 the total length in the country should be over 6,000 km–more than 50% greater than today. The total now being planned comes to over 9,000 km. Urban rail systems have been growing steadily over the last ten years, Zhou reported.

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