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    NEW EXPRESS CONTAINER TRAIN AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

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    VLADIVOSTOK, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - A new express container train, Nakhodka-Brest-Warsaw, is ahead of schedule by 74 kilometers a day.

    The press service of the Far Eastern Railway told RIA Novosti on Friday that the express train has been given a green light and is covering about 1,000 kilometers a day.

    The train, which consists of 50 container platforms and a guard car, will travel from the Pacific Ocean to Brest (a town on the Belarus-Poland border) for 11 days and then continue on to Warsaw.

    This is a test trip. Regular traffic will start based on orders from clients, the press service reported.

    The new express container train left the Nakhodka Vostochnaya train station in the Maritime Territory on April 21.

    Shipping goods from Asia to Europe using the Russian Trans-Siberian Railway is becoming increasingly popular for foreign shippers. In the past three years, the freight traffic along the Trans-Siberian Railroad has tripled.

    In the first quarter of 2004, 550,500 metric tons of cargo, including 530,300 metric tons in containers, passed along the transport corridor from Asian-Pacific countries. This figure is 18.2% (in containers - 19.9%) more than in 2003.

    The first express container train from Nakhodka traveled to Brest along the Trans-Siberian Railway in April 1998. Today, several express container trains leave the Maritime Territory for Brest, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Central Asian capitals every day.

    The Asia-Europe-Asia container shipping route through Russia is three times shorter than the southern sea route through the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Suez Canal.

    The processes of servicing goods are being perfected. The Vostochny port, for example, where the containers are loaded from ships to trains, is in compliance with international customs registration standards. Now, the time it takes to register goods that arrive in the Maritime Territory by sea has been cut from several days to several hours.

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