Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region plans to increase freight trains operating to Central Asia and Europe to 400 this year, playing a pivotal role in the Belt and Road Initiative.
According to the plan, 300 freight trains will transport goods to Central Asia, 50 to Russia, 20 to Germany, Turkey and Iran, and 30 trains will transport goods back to China from Europe.
Xinjiang, which launched its first international freight train heading westwards in March 2014, operated a total of 358 trains by the end of Dec 2016, whereas it ran 55 trains in 2014, 80 in 2015 and 223 in 2016.
Different from the country's coastal areas, which are connected to other countries and regions through shipping routes, Xinjiang has made rail transport its main mode of connection to the outside following the country's Belt and Road Initiative.
Xinjiang has built seven major logistics centers in cities including Urumqi, Korla, and Kuitun as the starting points of its international freight train routes.
Freight train X9081 recently left a major logistics center in Urumqi, carrying with it a new batch of Made-in-China products to Kazakhstan's Almaty. It was the 200th trip of freight trains from the center since it began operating in May last year.
More than 30 international freight train routes connecting inland cities also pass Xinjiang to go westwards, such as the Yuxinou (Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe) International Railway, linking Chongqing with Duisburg in Germany.
These freight trains boost the international trades, carrying commodities, clothes, equipment, auto parts and other materials to the countries in Central and Western Asia, Europe and even Africa.