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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

long distance trains : freight train from China to London

A travel by train is always worth of savouring. A journey was worth its length. The yester generations cherished travel by talking a lot about the journey and the experiences during the travel.    The most popular advice perhaps those days was not to sit near the window and look out when the train chugged out of station – for those days, engines were powered by coal and fine coal dust would be in the air and could fall in eyes.

The answer to a pet Q of a Quizzer has changed !  - it is no longer the Himsagar Express – the train running between Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India to Jammutawi – the one covering the longest in terms of distance or time.  It runs 3715 kilo meters.  A couple years ago, commemorating Swami Vivekananda came - ‘Vivek Express’ from Dibrugarh in Assam to Kanyakumari, becoming the longest Train in India. When introduced, the train covered 4,286 km in 82.30 hours passing through   Dimapur, Guwahati, Jalpaiguri,  Durgapur, Asansol, Midnapore, Balasore, Cuttack, Palasa, Vizianagaram, Samalkot, Vijayawada, Ongole, Nellore before entering Tamilnadu, thence via Katpadi, it went to  Salem, Erode, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thirissur, Kottayam, Kollam, Trivandrum, Nagercoil and terminated  at  Kanyakumari.    The ticket fare from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari  was Rs 673 in second class sleeper, Rs 2,573 in two-tier AC and Rs 1,878 in three-tier AC.  Now the distance is slightly reduced (4234 km) and travel time is 82 hours  45 minutes.

Globally, the record is for the train from Moscow to Vladivostok – the  Trans-Siberian Railway, a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East. With a length of 9,289 kilometres (5,772 miles), it is the longest railway line in the world. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia, China and North Korea.  The line reportedly dates back to have been built  between 1891 and 1916 under the supervision of Russian government ministers personally appointed by Tsar Alexander III and his son, the Tsarevich Nicholas.  The train originating in  Moscow and ending in Vladivostok crosses several time zones and in addition to the endless birch trees of Siberia the scenery includes the Ural mountains and Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Railways transport not only men but material also – the record for Cargo train running longest of distance is different.  In Nov 2016, a train departed Yiwu in eastern China, a major wholesale centre for small consumer goods, and passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France and finally Spain. The entire round-trip is approximately 16,000 miles on the new Yixin'ou cargo line, which ends in the Spanish capital Madrid.  The train returned to China after travelling on the world's longest route to Spain.  The train's 82 shipping containers transported goods made in Zhejiang province, including spinning tops for children and cutting tools. The train returned to China with wine, olive oil and cured ham.

Now MailOnline reports of another freight train travelling all the way from China to London setting  off - on a journey that will cover a staggering 7,456 miles and pass through nine countries. The locomotive, stuffed with £4million worth of goods including socks and suitcases, departed from Yiwu West railway station in Zhejiang Province, China on Sunday.

Its epic journey will come to an end in Barking, east London, having been trundling along for 18 days. It is part of a drive to improve trade links with Europe, with the route cheaper than air freight and faster than transporting goods by sea. Its route will snake through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and finally Britain. The service is being run by the China Railway Corporation, and Britain is the eighth country to be added to its list of destinations, with London its 15th city. Madrid and Hamburg are among the European cities that the corporation transports goods to.

The new route is set to boost trade ties between the UK and China with goods such as clothing and bags delivered along the re-established Silk Road, connecting Europe and Asia, according to The Indian Express, which cited a report from Xinhua news agency.  The epic route is not the only lengthy railway journey between Europe and Asia that has been unveiled recently. A new Japanese plan envisages extending the Trans-Siberian railway, potentially allowing passengers to travel all the way from London to Tokyo by train - a distance of 6,000 miles.

How long can one  endure and what is the maximum length of a time, you travelled in a single journey ? ?  ~ and do they run on time ??

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th Jan 2017.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about your great train adventures journey, and get IRCTC Register detail to travel in train.