A New China to Europe cargo freight train service has begun between Jinan, the capital city of Shandong Province in eastern China to Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

According to the city’s Port and logistics office, the service is the fifth of its kind from Jinan, which connects it with Europe via Central Asia. The train routes now bring goods from China to 12 countries across the regions.

The New service is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt & Road Initiative, which looks to bring the ancient silk road to the 21st century, connecting China, and Chinese goods, with countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

Launched in 2011, the project has grown rapidly ever since and has received some criticism from some in Europe and the US with concerns over dependency on Chinese capital and unpayable debts to Beijing.

Also Read: Belt & Road connects China to Europe with New Freight Train Routes.

In the first six months of 2019, cargo trains have made 81 journeys from Jinan to Europe and Central Asia, a sixfold increase from the previous year. Altogether, the trains have carried 65,000 tonnes of goods worth $155-million (€140-million).

Jinan is looking to increase the frequency of cross-border trains and to open more routes to Germany and Poland in the near future, the office said.