China freight train' in first trip to Barking

China has launched a direct rail freight service to London. China Railway already runs services between China and other European cities, including Madrid and Hamburg. The train will take about two weeks to cover the 12,000 mile journey and is carrying a cargo of clothes, bags and other household items.

London will become the 15th European city to join what the Chinese government calls the New Silk Route. The service will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany Belgium and France before arriving at Barking Rail Freight Terminal in East London, which is directly connected to the High Speed 1 rail line to the European mainland. Because of the different railway gauges involved, a single train cannot travel the whole route and the containers need to be reloaded at various points.

(BBC)