Video: China train arrives in Barking after 18-day journey
PUBLISHED: 16:06 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:47 18 January 2017
A rail freight hub was transformed into an international terminal as guests welcomed the first freight train from China this afternoon.
The train finally came to a halt at DB’s Cargo UK’s London Eurohub in Ripple Road, Barking, after crossing seven countries in 18 days.
Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Darren Rodwell, addressed the crowd after visitors enjoyed a vivid lion dance in the surreal setting.
“It’s a sign of Barking and Dagenham being at the epicentre of the capital’s eastward shift,” he enthused. “You could say it’s the rising east meets the far east.”
The UK is the latest destination added to the China-Europe rail link. David Martin, director of China-British business council, said the train’s arrival from Yiwu in Zheijang could lead to other things.
“I want to talk about the train that leaves here – it will be whole lot more exciting when this train leaves with British products,” he said.
Connie Zhou of the Zheijang UK Association was also there to watch the train roll in.
“I’m so proud all of these goods have come from my home town,” said Connie, who moved to west London from Yiwu in 2003.
“It’s so exciting, I hope they have not only cargo train but also a passenger train. Hopefully this will be the first of many trains.”
BDP China train arrives in Barking
China's first freight train to the UK arrives at the Barking rail freight terminal.
Crowds gathered to greet the train, which arrived in Barking after crossing seven countries in 18 days.
The containers were loaded off the train, to be taken a distribution facility.
Local, national and international media gathered for the much-anticipated train arrival.
Connie Zhou, originally from Yiwu in Zheijang, joined in the celebrations.
Spectators enjoyed a lion dance in the rail freight car park.
The dance was performed by Dragon Style UK, based in Leyton.
The dance also celebrated Chinese New Year, which begins in a fortnight.
There were an array of speakers at the event.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, hailed the "rising east".
Dignitaries were on track for a celebration at the historic event.
Speakers from China, DB and local dignitaries raised a glass to the momentous occasion.
The journey was the first of its kind: the first time a freight train has travelled from China to the UK.
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