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Freight Train From China to London to Improve Trade Departs Station

Image: Freight Train From China to London to Improve Trade Departs Station

The freight train line from Yiwu, China, to Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan starts to operate Aug. 28, 2016. (Reuters/Stringer)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Jan 2017 03:51 PM

A rail service sending freight trains from China to London has begun as part of an effort to increase trade between China and Europe.

The rail service already included trains to 14 other European cities including Madrid and Hamburg, according to Bloomberg News. It is part of Chinese President Xi’s “Silk Road” initiative, which began in 2013.

The train, which departed Jan. 1, will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, and France before reaching Great Britain, according to the BBC. The trip will not be continuous but will involve reloading the cargo onto different trains at various points because of varying railway gauges.

While ships can carry 10 times the amount of goods a train can manage, trains can get there twice as fast. The London trip will take about 18 days, while the same voyage over water takes about a month to complete.

The Chinese economy has struggled in recent months due to slowing exports, so officials see expansion of train service as a way to boost that economy, the BBC reported.

According to The Telegraph, China’s exports fell to $2.27 trillion in 2015, down from $2.34 trillion in 2014. Its economic growth rate was down slightly in 2016, estimated at 6.7 percent compared to 2015’s 6.9 percent and 2014’s 7.3 percent.

The freight train is carrying items including clothing, suitcases and bags, according to Bloomberg. The train trip will cover a total of 7,400 miles, and the returning train will bring German meats, Russian woods, and French wines into China for sale there.

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A rail service sending freight trains from China to London has begun as part of an effort to increase trade between China and Europe.
freight, train, from, china, london, trade
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2017-51-03
Tuesday, 03 Jan 2017 03:51 PM
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