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First-Ever Direct China-UK Freight Train Arrives in London

You can now travel directly from China to the UK by train – well, sort of – if you’re willing to spend the entire trip with socks, clothes and an assortment of other household products.

According to the Independent, the first-ever freight train from China to the UK arrived on January 18 after a 17-day journey across 12,000 kilometers (7,456 miles).

The transcontinental train ride started in China’s Yiwu city on January 3 and arrived at London’s Barking rail terminal last Wednesday after passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.

Photo via BBC.

The news source also reports that the locomotive brought with it 34 containers containing £4 million (VND113 billion) worth of consumer products from China. Due to the different rail gauges in different countries along the way, one train is not able to make the entire journey, meaning containers have to be transferred to different carriages throughout the ride.

The freight service will continue once a week for the next few months in order to assess demand, with an option to make it permanent should the route turn out to be successful.

China’s freight train system recently added London as the 15th city on its itinerary, reports BBC. The massive project, named “One Belt, One Road”, is part of president Xi Jinping’s effort to revive the ancient Silk Road and demonstrate the country’s soft power and international influence.

China is also planning to add another 20 European routes to its network in the future.

[Photo via BBC]

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