The departure ceremony for the first Railgate Finland China Express service was attended by more than 70 guests, including the Russian, Kazakh and Chinese ambassadors to Finland.

The service from Kouvola to Xi'an offers a transit time of 10-12 days for the 8000km trip, with just one break-of-gauge at the Russia-China border.

The service is a partnership between Kazakhstan Railways’ subsidiary KTZ Express and its sole agent in Scandinavia, Unytrade Oy. The train operates with the support of Xi’an International Port Multimodal Transportation Company. Haulage is provided by Finland’s VR-Transpoint, Russian Railways (RZD), KTZ Express and China Railway Corporation.

The first China-Finland train is due to leave Xi’an before the end of the month and a second Kouvola - Xi’an train will run in December.

A regular weekly service is expected to start running in both directions early next year.