Xi’an-Dobra-Dunajska Streda train up and running
Today, a train from China rolls into the terminal of Dobra, ready to be reloaded for its next destination Dunajska Streda. Another train is currently underway in China, and another five trains are scheduled for next month. It is the proof that the new China-Slovakia rail freight service is on track.
In August, there was good news from DBO / Beijing TransEurasia and METRANS, the companies responsible for the service. The Xi’an-Dobra- Dunajska Streda train would be a regular service on the timetables, starting from September 2020. On 7 September, the first train left the centrally located Chinese hub and on 18 September, it was ceremonially received in the Slovakian city. On Friday 25 September, the second train arrives in Dobra.
The official train arrival was warmly welcomed by the new Ambassador of China in Slovakia Sun Lijie, Slovakia’s State Secretary at Ministry of Transport and Construction of Slovak republic Jaroslav Kmet, CEO of METRANS Group Peter Kiss and CEO of ZSSK Cargo Roman Gono.
The second train enters Dobra today. Every Monday a train will leave the Chinese city, and every Friday or Saturday a train is to arrive in Dunajska Streda. Here, the cargo can immediately be put on a train to Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary or Germany. The journey to Slovakia takes 11 days; these final destinations can be reached within no more three days, the companies promise.
Key of the service is the transit route through Ukraine. According to Martin Koubek from Metrans, this is currently even the fastest route as there are some delays at the other borders with the EU. Moreover, it is a much more strategic transit route for end destinations in eastern Europe than the route via Belarus and Poland.
“We see big potential in this route”, said Koubek earlier. “Customs procedures may be something that requires development, but as far as I have heard Ukraine is willing to join the European customs NCTS system in the near future. From this perspective, it may become even easier to transport trains via Ukraine.”