Volkswagen ID R Takes the Train for a 6,800 Miles Trip to China

Volkswagen ID R ready for a trian ride 7 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
Volkswagen ID R heading to China by trainVolkswagen ID R heading to China by trainVolkswagen ID R heading to China by trainVolkswagen ID R heading to China by trainVolkswagen ID R heading to China by trainVolkswagen ID R heading to China by train
In September, Volkswagen’s record-breaking ID R electric racewr will attempt to reach another milestone, this time by becoming the first car to set a new best time on the famous Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road in China. But before it gets to do that, it has to get there.
There are a number of ways to get from Europe to China, but few are as spectacular and lengthy as a trip by train. And this is precisely how the car plans to make the trip: onboard a freight train that will cross through four countries and cover a distance of 11,000 km (6,800 miles).

The car itself and the accompanying hardware are stored in two 40-foot and two 20-foot containers that will be exposed to the elements for the three weeks long trip.

The containers will depart Hamburg, Germany, and arrive in Chongqing, China, from where they will be loaded onto trucks to cover the last miles to the foot of Tianmen Mountain.

On its way to the destination, the ID R will pass through Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan, following the Silk Road right into the heart of China.

According to Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets, this is the first time in history the carmaker has shipped a race car by a freight train.

“For the rst time in the 50-year history of Volkswagen in motorsport, a race car will be transported to its destination by a freight train,” he said.

“That contributes signicantly to making the record attempt on Tianmen Mountain as environmentally sound as possible.”

The Tianmen Road, usually closed to public traffic, is also known as the Road to Heaven. It starts in a valley at about 200 meters above sea level (656 feet) and then climbs to an altitude of 1,519 meters (4,900 feet). The road is 11 km (7 miles) long, and it comprises precisely 99 turns.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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