A new trade route has opened up between the UK and China, with a cargo train set to leave Stanford-le-Hope today to start on a staggering 7,500 mile overland journey to Yiwu in the Zhejiang province of China.
It's a cargo-only train, sadly, one loaded with such British-produced delights as whisky and pharmaceuticals and other things we still make in small boutique quantities, with the trip is scheduled to take 17 days. The driver's going to be knackered, although not as knackered as he'd be if taking the goods by sea, as the train trip apparently takes half the time as a standard oceanic container run.
And although it's the first time the train has left the UK for China, it's actually the second time the route has been run; the train came here from China in January, packed with clothes and lovely electronics. It'll be off again back through the Channel Tunnel today, then heading through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on its way to the east coast of China. [BBC]
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