By Li Xinping, People’s Daily

On China’s railway network that spans over 150,000 kilometers, numerous railway workers and police officers stand guard at their posts, dedicating themselves to safeguarding smooth and comfortable travel for all. Recently, five of them from the frontlines shared their unforgettable stories of growth alongside the railways.

In Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan province, high-speed rails stretch towards almost all directions. The Zhengzhou Railway Station sees the arrival and departure of a train every 1.6 minutes. As a on-duty station officer at the Operating Workshop of the Zhengzhou Station of China Railway Zhengzhou Group Co., Ltd., Jiang Tao processes a new “route” every 36.36 seconds.

“On Jan. 31, Zhengzhou was hit by a heavy snow,” Jiang recalled. “Each of us on-duty station officers was in a race against time – getting trains safely into the station, then dispatch them as quickly as possible to send passengers back home without delay.”

During the Spring Festival holiday, Hainan experienced a convergence of tourists, students returning home, and people on family visits, which led to a significant increase in passenger volumes entering, exiting via the Qiongzhou Strait and traveling around the island.

Wang Xiaobing, a signal worker of the Haikou Comprehensive Maintenance Workshop of the Haikou Comprehensive Maintenance Section of China Railway Guangzhou Group Co., Ltd., told People’s Daily that equipment maintenance personnel had to perform inspections and repairs at midnight during the Spring Festival holiday to ensure safe operations.

“Although passengers may not see how we work, we still must meticulously maintain the signaling equipment to guarantee their safe journeys,” said Wang.

He said with the world’s first island-looping high-speed rail line constructed in Hainan, it is possible for people to visit all the attractions on the island in just one day.

“The loop line plays a vital role in the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port and in accelerating Hainan’s development into an international tourism consumption center,” Wang noted, adding that guests from various countries also frequently travel on the loop line during the annual Boao Forum for Asia.

In the eyes of Sonam Wangdrak, a driver instructor of the No. 1 Operating Workshop of the Golmud Locomotive Maintenance Section of China Railway Qinghai-Tibet Group Co., Ltd., the railway network has been growing fast on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau in recent years, which has not only facilitated residents along the routes but also reduced the costs of transportation. A range of specialty products, including highland yak meat, yogurt, and ethnic handicrafts, can now be transported by rail from the plateau to the rest of the world.

“The area around the Lhasa Railway Station has developed rapidly. The trains running across the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau are tangibly changing the local residents’ mobility, way of production and way of life,” Sonam Wangdrak said.

Zhu Shaoming is a third-grade sergeant at the Huilai Railway Police Station of the Huizhou Branch of the Guangzhou Railway Public Security Bureau, whose job is to ensure railway safety and security. Since the Hangzhou-Shenzhen Railway opened in 2013, his jurisdiction has maintained a “zero occurrence” of incidents that endangered train operations or threatened the lives and property of passengers.

Moreover, Zhu has long been devoted to philanthropic causes. He has established a charity team that regularly helps local seniors that live alone, people with disabilities, and orphans. They also routinely donate school supplies, sports equipment, books, and school uniforms to schools in remote mountainous areas. Additionally, Zhu helps local farmers sell unsold fruits, contributing to rural vitalization.

Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region boasts diverse landscapes and picturesque scenery, making it a popular tourist destination. To ensure visitors from afar feel welcome, Mierban Aiyiti, chief conductor of the Hotan No. 1 Fleet of the Korla Passenger Section of China Railway Urumqi Group Co., Ltd., has led her team to offer a themed service that uses text and images to introduce the scenery and folk customs along the route to passengers. On her train, Xinjiang specialties like hand-pulled noodles, Xinjiang chicken stew, and naan bread are provided.

Mierban Aiyiti believes high-speed railway has brought places closer together. With the opening of the Golmud-Korla Railway and the Hotan-Ruoqiang Railway, trains can skirt a full circle around a desert for the first time in the world. More and more people living on deserts and plateaus are having the opportunity to see the bigger world.

In March 2022, while on duty, Mierban Aiyiti encountered a sick infant who needed urgent transport to a hospital in Aksu prefecture. Not only did she provide attentive service throughout the journey, but she also helped contact an ambulance and donated money to help the baby.

“Apart from me, many other passengers also lent a helping hand. People of all ethnic groups are connected, just like a family,” she said.

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