VIENNA (AP) — Austrian officials are welcoming the arrival of the first cargo train to directly connect the Alpine nation with China. The train left Chengdu, China, on April 12 and arrived Friday in Vienna after a journey of some 9,800 kilometers (6,090 miles.)
On the way, it passed through northern China, central Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe. The rail connection is part of China's effort to cut down on the time it takes to deliver manufactured goods to Europe. Most cargo shipments currently travel by sea.
Austria's minister for digital and economic affairs, Margarete Schramboeck, said the rail link would help trade in both directions. In the future, trains are expected to cut the time it takes for goods to go from China to Austria to 10 days instead of four weeks.