A freight train loaded with Chinese goods worth 3 million U.S. dollars left Dalian, a port city in northeast China's Liaoning Province Friday, heading for Bratislava in Slovakia.
It marked the start of a new China-Europe cargo train route stretching 10,537 kilometers.
The train will pass through Russia and Ukraine, reducing the transporting time of Chinese goods to Europe by two-thirds.
The first train's 41 containers include electric products and machine parts from eastern and northern Chinese provinces, including Shandong and Liaoning.
Liu Yan, deputy mayor of Dalian, said that the new freight service would help northeast China to transform and upgrade its industry and boost trade.
By October, more than 5,000 cargo train trips have been made between Chinese and European cities since the start of the direct rail freight services six years ago, according to China Railway Corporation.