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China launches freight train to United Kingdom

China Railway currently runs services between China and Madrid, Hamburg and other European cities. The new train service will take around two weeks to complete the 12,000 mile journey and it is carrying cargo of bags, clothes and other types of household items.

The service was launched on New Year’s day, it runs from Yiwu in China to Barking in London. Mike White, director of Brunel Shipping, the U.K. booking agent for the service, said the route would revolutionize the way freight is moved from China. He said transporting freight via the new rail link is much faster than transporting it by sea. He added that there was a potential to save a lot of money on existing air routes, too.

Before arriving in England, the train will go through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. It will also pass through Poland, Germany, Belgium as well as France.

However, an unchanged single train will not be able to do the entire route. This is because of various railway gauges, and some containers will need to be reloaded or removed altogether.

China initially set aside around $40 billion in funds for roads and railways abroad under President Xi Jinping’s strategy. Xi has made railways one of this top priorities and last month the country announced it would spend $503 billion to expand its national system by 2020.

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