China Sends Its First Freight Train to London

January 4, 2017, 8:39 AM UTC
First Qingdao-Central Asia Freight Train In Qingdao, China
SHANDONG, CHINA - JULY 01: The first Qingdao-Central Asia freight train is about to leave the railway station on July 01, 2015 in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province. Several Chinese cities have started regular freight trains to central Asia and Europe as China revives the ancient Silk Road. PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images/File

China has begun its first freight train service to London from Yiwu, a famed wholesale market town in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The train will travel for 18 days over more than 7,500 miles (12,000 km) to reach Britain from China, Xinhua said. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.

The train journey is one of the world’s longest, according to CNN.

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron raised some eyebrows with allies by pitching Britain as the pre-eminent gateway to the West for investment from China and proposing to make London the main international trading centre for offshore yuan.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the relationship with China remains “golden” as she seeks to bring in billions of dollars in Chinese investment as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.