After an epic 17 day journey and a 7,500-mile journey, the first ever direct freight train service from China to the UK arrived in London on the 18th January 2017.
The East Wind service which name derives from a saying by the former Chinese communist leader Mao Zedon, who said “The East Wind shall prevail over the West”, started its journey from China’s Zhejian Province on the 3rd of January and passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in Britain on Wednesday afternoon.
The train arrived carrying cargo including clothes, household items and fabrics which was greeted by a group of officials and local residents. The consignment would have taken almost twice as long to reach Britain by sea.
The East Wind service is an expansion of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” plan to improve China’s trade link and breathe life back into the ancient Silk Road route.
The service will be trialled for several months with the hope the new route will become cost-efficient, time-saving and increase trade between the two countries, if successful the rail link could be made permanent.