The Silk Railway

Silk Road LocoSome textbook transport-illiterate sub-editing from The Guardian here on the return of the silk road.

No, that Chinese hood-style diesel locomotive will certainly not be rolling into Barking. As the text says further on, the train will be hauled by several different locomotives over the course of its seven and a half thousand mile journey. The final leg is almost certainly either going to be hauled by a British class 92 or 66.

When the East Wind train rumbles into east London this week, it will be full of socks, bags and wallets for London’s tourist souvenir shops, as well as the dust and grime accumulated through eight countries and 7,456 miles.

The train – made up of 34 wagons – will be the first to make the 16-day journey from Yiwu in east China to Britain, reviving the ancient trading Silk Road route and shunting in a new era of UK-China relations.

Due to arrive on Wednesday, the train will have passed through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before crossing under the Channel and arriving in the east end of London at Barking rail freight terminal.

There is something depressing about the first train along a historic and legendary route to be laden with cheap tat for the tourist market.

Update: It enters the Channel Tunnel behind a pair of DB Cargo UK class 92s.

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One Response to The Silk Railway

  1. Michael says:

    Perhaps a little depressing, but just think what it does for peaceful trade along the route.

    Now we need them to take back the empty shipping containers rather than making more of them. It would be even better if we could find something to sell them so they we not empty.