China-Europe freight trains that set off from Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, made a total of 1,164 trips as of the end of 2017.
The statistic was announced by Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the regional government, while delivering a government work report at the ongoing local parliamentary session.
Urumqi, which saw the start of the first China-Europe train in May 2016, now launches three such trains on a daily basis. The trains can reach five Central Asian countries and 17 European countries.
"Compared to road transport, the trains are much faster and can help save costs for the companies," said Zhang Haixia, chief operating officer with Xinjiang Hongyunda international freight transport agency.
Cheng Jingmin, deputy general manager of Xinjiang Beiken Energy Engineering Co., Ltd. in the oil-rich city of Karamay, said the company's drilling equipment had been transported to countries like Russia and Ukraine by China-Europe trains that are much faster than sea freight.
Nan Jun, vice general manager of Xinjiang Xintie International Logistics Company, said the city planned to send 1,400 China-Europe trains in 2018.
Initiated in March 2011, the China-Europe express freight train service has seen steady expansion during the past few years. Nationwide, a total of 3,673 trips were made last year, exceeding the total launched during the previous six years.