First London-bound freight train departs China

The first freight train from China to London set off on Sunday on a journey that will cover a staggering 7,456 miles.

It departed from Yiwu West railway station in Zhejiang Province, China, and will arrive in Barking, London, having been trundling along for 18 days.

Its route will snake through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and finally Britain.

The service is being run by the China Railway Corporation. Britain is the eighth country to be added to its list of destinations, with London its 15th city.

The new route is set to boost trade ties between the UK and China with goods such as clothing and bags delivered along the re-established Silk Road, connecting Europe and Asia, according to The Indian Express, which cited a report from Xinhua news agency.

The focus on strengthening trade by expanding China’s railway infrastructure and network is part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, announced in late 2013.

I don’t think anyone asked Donald Trump for planning permission. Or ever will.

One thought on “First London-bound freight train departs China

  1. KC says:

    (Jan 18, 2017) The first train from China rolled into London today after a trip that began on new year’s day. “We now have two trains per day, with about 80 teu* and 41 containers per train,” explained Karl Gheysen, CEO of Kazakhstan’s dry inland port, Khorgos Gateway. “It runs three times a week to Duisberg, but we have also have services to the Netherlands, Madrid, Iran and now the UK. The capacity is 540,000 teu a year, but we could make it a million.”
    Khorgos Gateway was built by the Kazakhstan government where the rail gauge changes – making it a good point for transhipment. There are now some 10 rail lines from the gateway, opening almost limitless options around Europe, the CIS and Asia.
    “Its real advantage is 15 days’ transit over 45 days for sea freight,” said Mr Gheysen. “And exports are starting – we have requests for backloads now.”
    The service costs roughly twice as much as port-to-port sea freight, but about half the cost air.
    * Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, the standard ISO container

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