YINCHUAN, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- A new train route connecting northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Kazakhstan has started operations.
The first train, carrying almost 3,000 tonnes of freight in 45 compartments, arrived in Alma-Ata, the largest city in Kazakhstan, from Ningxia's Shizuishan City on November 12.
The new route will greatly reduce delivery costs between Ningxia and Central Asia, according to Wang Feng, director of the Lanzhou Railway Bureau.
The train will only run once this year, but will operate on a regular basis in the near future, the bureau added.
Bordering Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is a major stop along the northern route of the ancient Silk Road. The opening of the new rail route is a key step to improving trade between China and Central Asia, which has been promoted under China's Belt and Road Initiative.