Published On: Sat, Apr 29th, 2017

China-London train completes 12000 km journey in 20 days

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The first freight train to link China directly to the UK arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu Saturday after covering over 12,000-kilometres (7,500 miles), making it the second-longest route in the world.

The journey is the latest effort in China’s drive to strengthen trade links with western Europe along a modern-day “Silk Road” route.
The world’s top trading nation launched the “One Belt, One Road” strategy in 2013, and has since poured millions into constructing vast infrastructure links.

The train — loaded with whisky, baby milk, pharmaceuticals and machinery — departed London on April 10 and passed through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan during its 20-day trip before arriving in Yiwu in eastern Zhejiang province, a major wholesale centre for small consumer goods.

The new route is longer than Russia’s famous Trans-Siberian railway, but about 1000 kilometres shorter than the record-holding China-Madrid link, which opened in 2014.

London is the 15th city to be linked to a new freight network offered by the state-run China Railway Corporation, which says its services are cheaper than air transport and quicker than shipping.

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