JINAN, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- A freight train connecting Jinan, capital of eastern China's Shandong Province, and Russia, started operation on Friday.
It is the first time that Jinan's railway bureau has launched an international train between Jinan and Russia.
The train leaves Jinan and reaches Russia via Manzhouli in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The 7,500-kilometer-journey takes around 15 days, 30 days less than by sea.
Products on the train include machinery, souvenirs, clothes and plastic products, worth a total of 16 million yuan (2.38 million U.S. dollars), mainly produced in Shandong and surrounding areas.
In the initial phase the train will run every two weeks, with the frequency increasing in the future, the train operator said.
The train will help expand the European market for Jinan's exports, and bring opportunities for economic development in Jinan and its vicinity, especially in industries such as machinery processing, textiles, food processing and hardware.