The first rail freight service from the UK to China will depart on a 7,500-mile journey from Essex on Monday.

30 containers will carry British goods including pharmaceuticals.

The train will travel over 7,500 miles to reach Yiwu, a famed wholesale market town in the eastern province of Zhejiang, 17 days later. 

The train will pass through seven countries -  France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan  - before arriving on April 27.

The service is part of China's One Belt, One Road programme of reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes with the West dating back more than 2,000 years.

The first rail freight service in the opposite direction, from China to the UK, arrived three months ago. 

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