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A passenger train linking Beijing and Belgium is in the works

With stops in Ulaanbaatar, Moscow, Brussels and more

Antwerp Central Station. Image: Skitterphoto via Pixabay
If you're someone who swoons at the thought of taking a long train ride around the world and possibly solving a murder-mystery in the process, or at the very least you hate flying, here's a bit of news for you.

According to Xinhua, a number of organisations and state institutions inked a deal in Belgium on Thursday to link China and Belgium by passenger rail. The rail – dubbed 'Diamond Silk Road' – will have ten stops between the terminal cities (Shanghai and Antwerp), with Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Moscow and Brussels named so far.

There are already freight rail lines that connect Shanghai and Europe, and there are feasible itineraries that can get you from Shanghai to Europe over several trains, but a single passenger train from Shanghai and Antwerp will be a first and perhaps the world's longest free trade pipeline.

There's no word yet on when this extremely long train ride will begin service, how much it will cost or how long the route will take. Presently, a train from Beijing to Moscow along the Trans-Siberian line takes six nights, while a train from Moscow to Antwerp takes, on average, 17 hours. So provided the new Shanghai-Antwerp line takes less than seven days (which we definitely hope so), train lovers should be onto a winner. Side note: it also currently takes 13 hours to fly from Beijing to Antwerp, which though considerably more time-effective, is a lot less fun for solving a murder-mystery.

By Kenny Ong

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