posted on 16th Dec 2014 09:43
The first through train service carrying containers between China and Spain departed from Yiwu in central-eastern China on 18 November 2014 (see first photo). It was routed via the breaks of gauge at Alashankou/Dostyk, Brest/Małaszewicze and Hendaye/Irún, and reloaded three times between rakes of wagons during its 13,052 km journey, traversing six countries, before finally reaching the Madrid-Abroñigal logistics complex on 9 December.
The payload consisted of 30 40-foot containers, but moved in the same train as other consignments during transit through CIS to meet minimum requirement for a block train, 41 40-foot containers. The service was arranged by IRS InterRail Services jointly with Kedentransservice and CRIMT, while DB Schenker and its subsidiaries provided haulage across the entire stretch of the 1,435 mm network from Małaszewicze to Irún. Transfesa Rail’s 335 010, on hire from Alpha Trains Iberia, shown in the other photo arriving at Madrid-Aboñigal, hauled the train from the French border onwards.