Turkey, train with goods to China

First train with Turkish products leaves Istanbul for China

In 2019 a train with products from China arrived in Istanbul. The train will make a 12-day trip from Europe to Asia across the new Silk Road.

The first train with goods from Turkey left the Turkish city of Istanbul for China on Friday, a historic moment that represents the second step in the Chinese plan to revive the ancient Silk Road through the Belt and Road Initiative, after the China Railway Express, the first train between China and Europe, arrived in Istanbul in November 2019.

“The first whistle of Çerkezköy, from where the train has departed, is the herald of a new era for our country,” said Turkey’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Adil Karaismailoğlu, during the ceremony organised at the Kazlıçeşme train station – on the European side of Istanbul – to see how the first convoy with Turkish goods leave for China.

“Turkey, a global player located in the center of Europe and the Middle East, with a modern economy and transportation system and cultural continuity, is taking firm steps to become a logistics superpower,” said Karaismailoğlu.

A 12-day trip from Europe to Asia, crossing 8,693 kilometres and 5 countries

As the minister explained, the train will travel 8,693 kilometres through two continents, two seas and five countries to finally reach its destination in China within 12 days. On its route, after crossing the Bosphorus Strait through the Marmaray underwater tunnel, the convoy will cross Anatolia passing through Kocaeli, Ankara, Sivas and Kars.

Afterwards, the train will cross the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line, making a stop at the Akhalkalaki train station in Georgia; from here, it will pass through Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to finally reach the Chinese city of Xi’an. In total, the train will travel 2,323 km through Turkey, 220 km through Georgia, 430 km through Azerbaijan, 420 km through the Caspian, 3,200 km through Kazakhstan, and 2,100 km through China.

The convoy that left Istanbul today, operated in collaboration with the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), the railway transport subsidiary company TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş., and the Turkish logistics corporation Pasifik Eurasia, mainly transports Turkish-made large appliances in 42 containers.

“Today, for the first time, our train full of goods for export is leaving for China. This is very important for the future project of Turkish exports,” underlined in his speech during the ceremony organised in Istanbul İsmail Gülle, president of the Turkish Exporters Association (TİM).