Beijing's very first freight train destined for Europe departed from Mafang Station in Pinggu district on March 16, loaded with auto parts, construction materials, home appliances, copperplate paper, fabrics, clothes, and household goods. With 55 40-foot containers, the train will leave China via the Manzhouli Railway Port, travelling around 9,000 kilometers to the west, and arrive in Moscow, the capital of Russia, around 18 days later.
This freight train opens a new international fast freight corridor linking China and Europe, adding to Beijing's foreign trade transport network. Mafang Station becomes the starting point for Beijing's integration into the Belt and Road Initiative. According to the head of the China-Europe freight train center at the Beijing-Pinggu comprehensive logistics hub, the regularly running freight train will bring high-standard, low-priced, and authentic daily necessities to Beijing residents, such as meat and dairy products from Russia. Efforts will be made to ensure no less than four trips per month in the initial operating stage, and no less than 30 by the end of 2023. As of 2024, the Beijing-Pinggu comprehensive logistics hub will be developed into a China-Europe freight train hub in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, highlighting Beijing's contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative.