A freight-train service between Hamburg, Germany, and Gansu Province in northwest China opened Friday.
The first train left Gansu's capital city Lanzhou at 10:50 a.m. on Friday. It will take 13 days to travel the 8,900 kilometers of track to Hamburg.
The train is carrying machinery and electrical appliances, much of it manufactured in east China. On its return journey, it will carry advanced machinery made in Germany, according to Niu Xiangdong, vice mayor of Lanzhou.
"This service will help Lanzhou establish a reputation as a hub for foreign trade, which will help develop the industry here," he said.
A weekly cargo rail service linking Lanzhou with Central Asia started on July 5 this year. The train leaves Lanzhou every Saturday, Niu said.