CHENGDU, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A new China-Europe freight train service linking southwest China's Chengdu City with Vienna, capital of Austria, was launched Thursday.
The train, carrying 41 containers of goods valued at 1.5 million U.S. dollars, including LED displays, tires and lamps, departed from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province Thursday morning.
The train will travel through Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia, spending 13 days on the 9,800-kilometer journey, and finally arrive in Vienna.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attended the departure ceremony Thursday morning.
Van der Bellen said train, which is faster and more environmentally friendly than sea transportation, would play a significant role in China-Austria trade.
Austria will build a new station in 2020 as a terminal for the Belt and Road in the middle of the Europe, according to a memorandum of cooperation signed by Austrian OBB Holding AG and Chengdu International Rail Port Investment & Development (Group) Co., Ltd. on Thursday.
Chengdu is the last stop for the Austrian delegation's visit to China from April 7 to 12. On Sunday, leadership of the two countries agreed to establish a Sino-Austrian friendly strategic partnership and advance bilateral pragmatic cooperation.
China-Europe freight trains have made 1,000 trips in the first three months, up 75 percent compared with the same period last year, according to China Railway Corporation.
The cross-border rail network links 43 Chinese cities with 41 European cities in 13 countries.
Chengdu has 16 routes to cities including Nuremberg, Milan and Prague.
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