First train leaves UK on New Silk Road

London to Yiwu trainThe first ‘Silk Road’ rail freight service from Britain to China pulled out of the DP World London Gateway rail terminal in Essex yesterday laden with pharmaceuticals, whisky, soft drinks, vitamins and baby products at the start of its maiden 18-day 7,500-mile journey to Yiwu in the central province of Zhejiang. After passing through the Channel Tunnel into France and on to Belgium, the train will call in Duisburg, Germany from where InterRail will pull the cargo through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. “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 international trade minister Greg Hands. “It shows the huge global demand for quality UK goods and is a great step for DP World’s £1.5bn London Gateway port as it also welcomes its first regular container ships from Asia.”
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 President Xi Jinping