Silk Road becomes the Silk Railway

There's a new long-distance champ for rail routes: an 8,077-mile run from Yiwu, China to Madrid, Spain. The first trip took 3 weeks, but that may improve as time goes on. The route will be run twice a month for now, connecting the biggest "small-commodity" market in China with Europe's largest, Madrid.

 

The train brought a huge load of Christmas decorations and plastic trinkets, and took home a big load of Spanish ham and chorizo, olive oil and red wine. The idea is that the goods move faster than by ship, with less environmental impact than by truck. Problems to be solved include having to deal with two changes of gauge along the way.

 

China is building rail connections to more than 20 countries, but this is the longest. For more, train fans, click HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I’d have to agree there…visions in my head of having to stand out in the cold while the engines were changed (and sinister figures on the platform, with their collars turned up…thanks, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, etc.).



The author of the article may, at the end, have crossed a line, though with the words: “It is certainly an epic monument to the lengths we will go to meet our unfulfillable desire for things we don’t need.” I can’t see how those words apply to olive oil and chorizo…
Originally Posted by PortMoresby:

As a huge fan of all sorts of surface travel, you had me going there for a moment.  Until I realized I'd have to wear my chorizo disguise to get a ride on this train.

You could always disguise yourself as a ham or a can of olive oil.  As I recall, there was a famous character on the Popeye cartoon who liked to disguise herself as Olive Oyle.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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