Sunday, April 30, 2017

The East Wind.

It's the name of the recently started freight service between England and China. 

Here are the important nuggets of information about this service:-

   * Reminds about the 'Silk Road' of yore, the route between China and Europe bringing silks, spices,
      Chinese porcelain and even, gunpowder from the east.
   * It's as per China's 'One Belt, One Road' strategy to connect Asia with Europe and Africa.
   * The train travels more than 7,500 miles over 16 days.
   * It passes through seven countries viz. France, Belgium, Germany, Poland. Belarus, Russia
      and Kazakhstan.
   * The journey began at Barking, east London, passed through the 'chunnel'(The tunnel beneath
      the English channel) to the manufacturing city of Yiwu in eastern China.
   * The new weekly service is quicker than a container ship(Reduces travelling time by 30 days)
      and half the price of air freight.
   * Has 34 carriages/wagons that carried 68 containers with a maximum capacity of 88(A ship,
      however, can carry 10-20,000 containers).
   * Differing rail gauges in different countries means that no single train can travel the whole route
      and the containers have to be reloaded at various stages.
   * Could end up being costly but the advantage is that the goods can be moved easily from one
      place to the other.
   * A few of the items that are in demand in China, from various countries are:-
      - Spanish hams, cheeses and wines.
      - German beer and
      - British cars, machinery and food items.  
   * And the Chinese locomotive is named after a Mao quote, "The east wind will prevail over the
      west wind!"


It was a quiet Sunday as we went about the process of settling down with the washing of the soiled clothes under a tight water routine, that we've imposed on ourselves, because of the reduced water level in the well. Selvam, by chance, came to press the clothes by afternoon to complete the cycle. Ramakrishnan, the newspaper boy dropped our papers consequent to a call to him in the morning. Damn sweet of him!  


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