Russian diesel locomotive 2TE10M-2766 with freight train from Russia to China

New train service on Trans-Siberian corridor swaps loads in Mongolia

Russian diesel locomotive 2TE10M-2766 with freight train from Russia to China

A new regular container train service was launched on the Trans-Siberian route between China and Russia. The service makes the return of empty trains unnessecary, as trains departing from both countries meet in Mongolia, where they swap their load and return to their point of departure.  

The service was launched by RZD Logistics, a multimodal logistics operator in the CIS and Baltic countries and runs between Chengdu (China) and Vorsino (Russia). On the 13th of September, the first train departed from Vorsino, while the train from China departed on Tuesday. On Friday, they will meet at the border point of Zamyn-Uud (Mongolia).

Container swap

The containers will be removed from one train to another without any delay. Taking into the account the rail gauge difference between the Chinese and Mongolian railroads, the method will maximally reduce the delivery time, explained RZD Logistics. The train from Vorsino is scheduled to return to its base on the 2nd of October, whereas the train to Chengdu will arrive on the 26th of September.

The train consists of forty one 40-foot containers and marks the first shipment of a regular train service across the Siberian region, once every two weeks. The route has been launched in the framework of Russia’s ambition to increase non-resource export from Russia to China.

Boost in China-Russia services

Volumes of container freight moved by rail between China and Russia have increased significantly this year: rail freight traffic between the countries increased by 19 per cent in the first six months, on a year-to year basis. A total of 35.2 million tonnes of freight were transported in this period, revealed Russian Railways last week according to the Russian site Port News.

Russian Railways and China Railways have implemented a number of measures to simplify the procedures for issuing shipping documents and forming supply chains. In June this year, they signed an agreement on the exchange of electronic data for the carriage of goods in international rail transport, to ensure the transfer of shipping and accompanying documents in real time.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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