It took 20 days for a freight train to travel from China to Spain, making it the longest train journey to ever occur. China hopes this will make intercontinental trading more accessible.
It took 21 days and multiple engine changes, but a test run of the longest train route in the world has just been completed.
On November 18th, the train departed from Yiwu in eastern China and reached its destination roughly 8,000 miles later arriving in Madrid, Spain on Tuesday December 9th.
On its historic journey, the train also traveled through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France.
Approximately 40 shipping containers were towed by locomotives that had to be changed every 500 miles, while the wagons hauling them were swapped at several border crossings due to different track gauges. The products onboard included cutting tools and children's toy tops headed for the holiday shopping market.
While it broke a world record, the feat was completed primarily to see if it could become a viable freight route.
Beijing is hoping to expand and rejuvenate trade between the two continents with the "New Silk Road" project.
It's estimated that China is investing $40 billion in the project, which includes building new infrastructure for the trains as well as figuring out travel logistics.
Approximately 80 percent of global trade is still transported by ships, but China’s goal is to strengthen its freight transportation options and the Eurasian rail line is a choice method.
This mainly has to do with a demand for European goods within the Chinese market.
Currently, train service exists between Germany and China, but by expanding to Spain, the trade opportunities would grow.
The train will make return trip from Madrid to Yiwu early 2015, carrying such delicacies as wine, cured ham and olive oil.