China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed with go

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China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed with go

Postby David Benton » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:21 am

The next pair of socks George buys may have travelled by rail from China.
https://www.rt.com/uk/372637-china-frei ... in-london/
We are debating how much of the journey would be electrified, on a facebook group.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby philipmartin » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:41 am

"The east wind will prevail over the west wind." How about "The capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with" for the train's name.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby george matthews » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:23 am

David Benton wrote:The next pair of socks George buys may have travelled by rail from China.
https://www.rt.com/uk/372637-china-frei ... in-london/
We are debating how much of the journey would be electrified, on a facebook group.

I see that the containers it carries are changed from a standard gauge truck on to a parallel broad gauge train, and then, further on, to another SG train. So it is not really a continuous train from China.
Last edited by george matthews on Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby johnthefireman » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:09 am

The thing that jumped out at me when I read earlier reports of this was that the train is heading to Barking. That's a part of east London just a short bus ride from where I grew up. I never thought I would see such an exotic connection for Barking!
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby george matthews » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:39 am

johnthefireman wrote:The thing that jumped out at me when I read earlier reports of this was that the train is heading to Barking. That's a part of east London just a short bus ride from where I grew up. I never thought I would see such an exotic connection for Barking!

Barking is a freight terminal for trains from the Tunnel. I assume it has continental loading gauge from the tunnel and is thus the furthest such trains can penetrate in the UK.

BTW this report from RT is from the propaganda organ of Russia, and thus not always to be trusted. (RT=Russia Today)
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby george matthews » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:47 pm

What the article says"

"Differing rail gauges in the countries along the route means a single locomotive cannot travel the whole journey, so the containers will have to be reloaded at various stages."

I assume that means the containers may make the whole journey, but not the vehicles.

I think a change from Russian track gauge can take place in Hungary or Poland.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby johnthefireman » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:54 am

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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby johnthefireman » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:32 am

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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby David Benton » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:04 am

Nice links , John. Sounds like YIwu is the place to be, though I'm not sure what the traders from Colombia and Angola have to do with the train.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby george matthews » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:15 am

Faster than a ship, cheaper than a plane, the East Wind won’t be quite the same train that left Yiwu on 2 January. Differing rail gauges in countries along the route mean a single locomotive cannot travel the whole route.


It is wrong to state that a "locomotive" can't travel the whole route. It is the whole train that can't travel. The train that arrives in London will be the standard gauge vehicles that carry the containers from China. The actual vehicles will travel from the gauge-change point in eastern Europe. The Chinese vehicles will have been left behind at the similar gauge-change point on the Russian border. Or possibly the border in Mongolia.

Passenger carriages travel from one gauge to the other, but they have the wheels changed at the border, as with the trains from Berlin to Moscow - or indeed the trains from Madrid to Paris - which I have experienced in a sleeping car, without waking.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby David Benton » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:25 am

The train appears to take a more southern route than going through Mongolia.
I presume the change of gauges are the Chinese border with Kazakhstan, and the Polish border with Belarus.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby george matthews » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:32 am

David Benton wrote:The train appears to take a more southern route than going through Mongolia.
I presume the change of gauges are the Chinese border with Kazakhstan, and the Polish border with Belarus.

I don't think there is a continuous SG track from China by a southern route. It has been proposed but I doubt if it has been built. For example, it would pass through Afghanistan. When will it be safe enough to build it? Further south it would pass through southeast Asia. Less dangerous to build but still difficult. And what would happen when it reaches the Bangladesh border? From there the route is Indian broad gauge.

Putting the containers on a parallel train is the only possibility.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby David Benton » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:37 am

Here is the link.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_ ... n_to_China

The master article contains pretty much all the possible and planned routes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Land_Bridge
From looking at pictures in the article , it doesnt seem as though the china - kazakhstan link is electrified.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby george matthews » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:37 am

David Benton wrote:Here is the link.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_ ... n_to_China

The master article contains pretty much all the possible and planned routes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Land_Bridge
From looking at pictures in the article , it doesnt seem as though the china - kazakhstan link is electrified.

The route, a transcontinental railroad and rail land bridge, currently comprises the Trans-Siberian Railway, which runs through Russia and is sometimes called the Northern East-West Corridor, and the New Eurasian Land Bridge or Second Eurasian Continental Bridge, running through China and Kazakhstan. As of November 2007, about 1% of the $600 billion in goods shipped from Asia to Europe each year were delivered by inland transport routes.[1]


The Trans-Siberian is Broad (Russian) gauge. There is still no SG route from China to Europe. The potential connection through Afghanistan to Iran can be imagined, but how could it be built or operated considering the extreme instability in the country? That route would connect China and Iran. In theory there is a SG clear route across Iran through Turkey to Europe. But the wars in the area would make actual traffic rather uncertain.

Kazakhstan also has Russian Broad gauge, so there is the same problem of gauge change.
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Re: China launches direct weekly train to London stuffed wit

Postby David Benton » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:50 am

One of the articles mentions the whole train of containers can be swapped in 47 minutes, so 2 swaps in a 16 day journey is not that significant. Which brings me to speed. You would think a thousand k.m a day would be possible, so the train must spend alot of time standing still. I would think if you could get transit time down to 7-8 days, the freight airlines would be very worried indeed.
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