A train that goes down in history

The first freight train in history crosses the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosporus. On its route from the Chinese city of Xi'an to Prague, RCG is responsible for the European part of the connection.

The Chinese market offers enormous potential for freight transport to and from Europe. RCG is therefore continuously expanding its long-haul connections to the Far East. A train running from the Chinese city of Xi'an to Prague shows just how topical the topic is around the "One Belt One Road" initiative, a broad-based initiative to connect China with Asia and Europe. On 6 November this train reached Ankara, Turkey. Thomas Kargl, VD RCG, attends the welcome ceremony and welcomes the train together with many guests of honour. He crosses the Marmaray-Tunnel under the Bosporus on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. It is the first freight train in history to cross the tunnel, connecting the Asian and European parts of Turkey. And many more will follow, as the route to Ali Ihsan Uygun, Head of the Turkish State Railway, is estimated to involve a transport volume of five million tones on this new route between China and Western Europe by 2025.

Freight traffic with a future

This welcoming ceremony is a clear sign that sustainable rail freight transport is also very important for Turkey. This underground connection of the strait between Europe and Asia will not only make the railways more efficient, but above all more competitive. RCG is responsible for the European part of this train connection. "We are pleased to be able to implement this project on the European side. We are convinced that an annual volume of up to 350,000 TEU is not only realistically achievable, but also easy to implement. We are expecting four to five tons per TEU. The routes via Russia have reached an annual capacity of one million TEU between China and Europe by comparison," says Kargl. Particularly popular is the China-Europe connection via Turkey for finished electronic products from Asia such as laptops, hard disks, semi-finished TV panels, large-volume textile products and car parts from China. While the Asia-Europaroute is particularly used for electronic products, high-quality products from Europe such as finished and semi-finished products, consumer goods such as milk powder, frozen food, pork and products from the health sector such as pharmacy products are particularly popular for the Chinese economy," says Kargl.