Another freight train service linking northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with Kazakhstan began operations on Sunday.

The 41-compartment train, loaded with production equipment, daily necessities, building materials and other commodities, left Ulan Qab in Inner Mongolia and crossed northern and northwestern China before leaving the country through the Alataw Pass in Xinjiang.

The 4,532-km trip to Alma-Ata, the largest city in Kazakhstan and a major trade center in Central Asia, will take eight days.

The goods will be distributed to cities in central and western Asia as well as in Europe shortly after the train arrives, according to a Hohhot Railway Bureau official.

Earlier this month, a new train route connecting Shizuishan City in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Alma-Ata started operations.

The first freight train service linking Inner Mongolia with Kazakhstan launched in July. The train now runs regularly between the region’s Baotou City and Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.

Many Chinese cities, including Chengdu, Chongqing and Harbin, have launched freight services to boost trade with central Asia and Europe in recent years.