The route is actually not new at all. It is part of the old Silk Road, which commenced in 200 BC, through which Chinese silk caravans carried wears to Europe and Africa.
The journey is as much an engineering challenge as a logistical problem. Freight must swap trains along the way, as railway gauges vary between the connecting countries. In its 18-day journey, freight will span 7,456 miles of railways, crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK.