NDO – The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) has launched a freight rail service between Vietnam’s northern port city of Hai Phong and Kaiyuan in China’s Yunnan province. The line has a total length of 610 kilometres and a single ride will take 29 hours, excluding time spent on customs procedures at the Lao Cai station in Vietnam and Shanyao station in China. In the first stage, there will be two 16-carriage trains a day and the frequency is expected to rise to 3-4 trains a day in the near future. At the present time, cargo on the trains bound for China is mainly sulphur and zinc ore while the cargo from the other side is chiefly fertiliser. VNR General Director Vu Ta Tung said the launch of the Hai Phong-Kaiyuan cargo line is part of the freight rail cooperation between the two countries, which helps to transport goods with lower costs than those transported by road. He added that in the near future VNR will add more trains to the cargo line and improve accompanying services to meet customers’ demand and increase international freight quantity using rail services. Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy chairman of Hai Phong said this is the shortest route to the sea for China’s southwestern provinces so this freight line will be highly beneficial to Hai Phong and Vietnam’s northern provinces in general.