Madrid-Yiwu Railway Train – The New Silk Road – Spain -China Joint issue 2019.
In 2015 China announced a massive $900 Million double trade corridor along the old silk trade route between China and Europe. It encompasses land routes (the Belt) and maritime routes (the Road) . It is also known as Belt and Action Road Plan .
The Madrid-Yiwu railway line is a part of that project. It is a railway route taken by container trains from Chinese city of Yiwu to Madrid in Spain, a distance of 13,000 Kilometres or 8100 Miles and the longest in the world replacing Trans-Siberian Railway. It is one of the routes taken by several freight trains over the New Eurasian Land Bridge. 12 Chinese cities and 9 European cities are connected.
This journey takes 21 days , ship journey will take six weeks and road transport would cause three times the pollution (114 tonnes of CO2 against 44 tonnes by rail). From Yiwu, which is 300 kms South of Shanghai the track passes through Kazakhstan, Russia , Belarus , Poland , Germany, France and terminating in Madrid Spain.
China, Poland and Western Europe has Standard Gauge track , while Kazhakstan , Russia and Belarus use Russian Gauge and Spain uses wider Iberian Gauge. Therefore the trains go through Bogie Change at Transit points
The InterRail Group launched this train route in Nov 2014 with Chinese Railway and Deutsche Bahn (DB). The InterRail group is an International Transport Group registered in Switzerland with a focus on rail freight and owns the rolling stock & containers.
Spain issued a Pair of Se-tenant stamps on this Railway route as a Joint issue with China on 11 Jun 2019. Both Stamps are of 1. 50 euro with a print run of 120,000.