A freight train from the UK to China has completed its first journey. The train departed London on April 10 and arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu on Saturday, April 29.
It is the second time a train has moved between the two countries after a freight completed a journey from China to the UK in January.
The train from the UK to China had 30 containers aboard it filled with British produced goods as it covered 7,500 miles. On its arrival at Yiwu West station, the train was welcomed by traders and shipping company officials who waved Chinese and British flags.
The train’s name was derived from a saying by former Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, who said: “The East Wind shall prevail over the West”
The Chinese government in a bid to revive the Silk Road trading routes with the West started a programme known as the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. This has helped restore the rail route initially created more than 2,000 years ago.
“This freight train is a reflection of the achievements of trade,” Timmy Feng, Chairman of Yiwu Timex, which operated the train, told Reporters.
After leaving London, the bright red train passed through seven countries – France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan – before entering China.
This move between UK and China is part of the efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship shared by both countries. This will help in improving the movement of goods and services between the two countries.
The Chinese government has been on the drive to making their economy rank as the fastest growing economy in the world. The level of creativity and technological innovations in China have continued to appreciate over the years.
London is now 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.
For the UK, the train is part of an effort to strengthen trade links with the rest of the world as it prepares to leave the European Union in two years’ time.
The rail freight has been known to be the cheapest mode of movement of good and services than air freight and it’s also faster than sea freight.
Before the route was fully restored, millions of dollars were lost to vandals. With the restoration of the new route, we are all hoping it will stand the test of time.