ASIA: The first revenue train carried coal over the reopened cross-border line between Makhalino in Russia and Hunchun in China on December 17. The line opened in 1999 but services were suspended in 2004.

The infrastructure has now been upgraded by Russian Railways' Far Eastern Railway for use by transit freight from China to the port of Zarubino, from where it can be shipped to Japan, South Korea and other Asia-Pacific countries.

RZD estimates that traffic will grow from an initial 2 million tonnes/year to 8 million tonnes/year, with 4·5 million tonnes of exports and 3·5 million tonnes of exports. In the longer term traffic could reach 15 million tonnes.