The Yiwu-London stretch of railway is now operational. The new Silk Road is a network of routes covering 60 countries and 4 billion people.
In January 2017, the first goods train to depart from China headed to the United Kingdom and arrived in London. The train travelled 12 thousand kilometres in 18 days, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France. Inside the train’s containers were goods worth a total of around 4.5 million euros, consisting of textiles, consumer goods (such as whiskey, powdered milk and pharmaceuticals) and various machines. The new rail route is far longer than the well-known Trans-Siberian Railway, but it is around one thousand kilometres shorter than the route that connects China with Madrid, inaugurated in 2014.