A China-Europe freight train with 45 compartments of anti-epidemic supplies leaves the Xinzhu Railway Station in Xi”an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on Aug 12, 2020, to head for Italy’s Milan. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is ramping up efforts to improve the service capability of China-Europe rail freight, providing much-needed freight service amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the country’s top economic regulator said on Tuesday.

The new move came in an effort to keep up with the rising demand for freight trains amid the COVID-19 outbreak which has hampered international air and sea transport, Meng Wei, spokeswoman with the National Development and Reform Commission told a news conference in Beijing.

Meng said the NRDC will work with other departments and local governments to step up the construction of key ports, resolve transportation bottlenecks and speed up the construction of the demonstration projects of the China-Europe rail freight assembly center.

More efforts will also be made to expand the service capability of Manzhouli, Erenhot and Alataw Pass stations, promote the upgrading and transformation of west, middle and east routes of China-Europe rail lines, and actively open up new routes overseas for the railway express, Meng added.

According to Meng, the China-Europe railway express has run 10,180 cargo trips by Nov 5 this year, exceeding the number of total trips in 2019. And the railway express has transported 927,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, up 54 percent-on-year.

So far, those trains have reached 92 cities and 21 countries in Europe.

This year, the railway express has played an important role in maintaining smooth logistics and stable supplies between China, Europe and other BRI partners amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly 8 million pieces of medical supplies totaling more than 60,000 metric tons have been transported via China-Europe freight trains since the beginning of this year.

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Via China Daily