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