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Photo taken on Feb. 21, 2021 shows a China-Europe freight train departing from Chengdu International Railway Port in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

A new China-Europe freight train route has been launched, linking Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province with Russia's St. Petersburg.

The first freight train on this route left Chengdu on Sunday, carrying supplies for a key project under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The train is expected to reach St. Petersburg in 13 days, much faster than the one to two months required for shipping by sea under the impact of COVID-19, according to Wang Weikun, deputy general manager of Chengdu International Railway Service Co., Ltd.

During the Spring Festival, Chengdu International Railway Port saw the number of China-Europe freight trains increase by 33.3 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the port's administrative committee.