Tehran (AFP) – The first train to connect China and Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday loaded with Chinese goods, reviving the ancient Silk Road, the Iranian railway company said.
The train, carrying 32 containers of commercial products from eastern Zhejiang province, took 14 days to make the 9,500-kilometre (5,900-mile) journey through Kazakstan and Turkmenistan.
“The arrival of this train in less than 14 days is unprecedented,” said the head of the Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi.
“The revival of the Silk Road is crucial for the countries on its route,” he said at a ceremony at Tehran’s rail station attended by the ambassadors of China and Turkmenistan.
The journey was 30 days shorter than the sea voyage from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, according to Aqayi.
The railway will not stop in Tehran “as we are planning to extend the railway to Europe in future,” generating more income for Iran from passing trains, he added.
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