The first train from Britain to China started on Monday along a modern 'silk road' trade route. The 32-container train left from the vast London Gateway container port on the River Thames estuary, bound for Yiwu on the Chinese east coast.
Before travelling across France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, it will go through the Channel Tunnel before heading into China.
With soft drinks, baby products and whisky on board, the train was seen off on its 18 day, 12,000-kilometre journey with a string quartet, British and Chinese flags.
The first train from China to Britain arrived on January 18, filled with clothes and other retail goods, and Monday's departure was the first journey in the other direction.