CHANGSHA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Central China's Hunan Province has launched a new freight train route to Minsk, capital of Belarus.
A train carrying 41 containers of agricultural products, suitcases, clothes and auto parts, left Huaihua city on Friday for Minsk.
It is the first freight train linking the city to Europe, and the second cargo train route between Hunan Province and Europe.
The 11,155-kilometer trip will take 15 days, 30 days shorter than by sea. The train will run every 10 days before September, and every week after September, according to China Railway Guangzhou Group.
Demand for rail freight between China and Europe, an alternative to slower and riskier ocean shipping and costlier air cargo, has exploded in recent years.