Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey

Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey
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People wave a Chinese and a Union flags as they pose for photographs during a photcall to witness the departure of a freight train transporting containers laden with goods from the UK, from DP World London Gateway's rail freight depot in Corringham, east of London, on Monday, enroute to Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. (AFP / Isabel Infantes)
Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey
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Officials unveil the first UK to China export train, laden with containers of British goods, during the official ceremony to mark its departure from the DP World London Gateway, Stanford-le-Hope, Britain, on Monday. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey
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A banner promotes the first UK to China export train, laden with containers of British goods, during the official ceremony to mark its departure from the DP World London Gateway, Stanford-le-Hope, Britain, on Monday. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey
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A freight train transporting containers laden with goods from the UK, is prepared ahead of departure from DP World London Gateway's rail freight depot in Corringham, east of London, on Monday, enroute to Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. (AFP / Isabel Infantes)
Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey
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China Railway Express containers are loaded onto a freight train as it is prepared ahead of departure from DP World London Gateway's rail freight depot in Corringham, east of London, on Monday, enroute to Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. (AFP / Isabel Infantes)
Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey
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A freight train transporting containers laden with goods from the UK, is prepared ahead of departure from DP World London Gateway's rail freight depot in Corringham, east of London, on Monday, enroute to Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. (AFP / Isabel Infantes)
Updated 10 April 2017

Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey

Freight train begins 7,500-mile UK-China journey

STANFORD-LE-HOPE, England: The first freight train to run from Britain to China was due to depart on Monday, carrying vitamins, baby products and other goods as Britain seeks to burnish its global trading credentials for when it leaves the European Union.
The 7,500-mile journey from eastern England to eastern China will take three weeks, around half the time needed for the equivalent journey by boat. The first freight train from China arrived in Britain in January.
The train will leave a depot at Stanford-Le-Hope in Essex for Barking in east London, before passing through the Channel Tunnel into France and on to Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Britain is seeking to enhance its trade links with the rest of the world as it prepares to leave the EU in two years’ time.
“This new rail link with China is another boost for global Britain, following the ancient Silk Road trade route to carry British products around the world,” said Greg Hands, a British trade minister.
Run by Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment, the Yiwu-London freight service makes London the 15th European city to have a direct rail link with China after the 2013 unveiling of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative by Chinese premier Xi Jinping.
Among the goods being transported to China are soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products.
“This is the first export train and just the start of a regular direct service between the UK and China,” Xubin Feng, chairman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co., said.
“We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster.” (Reporting by Peter Nicholls)