First train from the UK to China completes its 7,500-mile journey

Hatty Collier

The first rail freight service from the UK to China has completed its 7,500-mile journey.

The train carrying 30 containers filled with British produced goods arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu on Saturday.

It was greeted by traders and shipping company officials when it arrived at Yiwu West station after departing London on April 10 carrying items such as vitamins, baby products and pharmaceuticals.

The first freight service from China to the UK arrived in London in January.

The service, which is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight, is part of China’s One Belt, One Road programme of reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes with the West, initially created more than 2,000 years ago.

Yiwu Timex Chairman Timmy Feng told Reuters TV channel: "This freight train is a reflection of the achievements of trade."

After leaving London the bright red train passed through seven countries -- France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan -- before arriving in Yiwu at about 9.30am local time on Saturday.

For Britain, 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.

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