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The transformation of China’s railway sector in the past decade

LifestyleThe transformation of China's railway sector in the past decade

Huang Tao has been working as a “railway doctor” for over 20 years. He has walked over 35,000 kilometers along the tracks in Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, detecting flaws with the rails. Huang’s job requires him to check the rails within his section each month. He says, “We always need to work extra hours during the Spring Festival holiday travel rush, but it’s worth it to make sure the trains run smoothly.”

This year, Huang was honored as one of the most outstanding representatives among more than 3 million officials and employees in the railway sector. He has continually sought out innovation throughout his career and has completed 23 technological innovation and invention projects. Eight of his achievements have obtained national utility model patents.

Huang’s dedication and innovation have been instrumental in ensuring that the railway system in China runs smoothly. The railway system is critical to the country’s development and growth, and it is thanks to workers like Huang that it is able to function effectively.

Another outstanding railway worker is Lyu Pan, a train conductor who has dedicated herself to providing better train services for passengers traveling between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the co-host cities of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Lyu has come up with over a dozen exclusive service measures during the Games, such as the introduction of intelligent train facilities and special cribs for infants. She has repeatedly rehearsed to make sure that all services, such as snow equipment storage and wheelchair placement, were delivered perfectly.

“My colleagues and I will continue to explore warmer, more targeted, and people-oriented services,” says Lyu. Her dedication to providing exceptional service to passengers is a testament to the importance of the railway system in China and its role in connecting people and facilitating economic growth.

The work of Huang and Lyu is part of a broader effort by the railway sector in China to innovate and improve the system’s performance continually. In recent years, China has made significant investments in its railway system, expanding its reach and capacity and enhancing its technological capabilities.

The railway system is a crucial component of China’s transportation infrastructure, and its effective operation is essential for the country’s economic growth and development. The dedication of workers like Huang and Lyu is vital in ensuring that the railway system is safe, efficient, and capable of meeting the needs of passengers.

The railway sector in China is one of the largest and most complex in the world, and it requires the expertise and dedication of many individuals to ensure that it functions effectively. The work of workers like Huang and Lyu is critical to the success of the railway system and the country’s broader economic and social development.

As China continues to invest in its railway system and expand its reach, it is essential to recognize the contributions of workers like Huang and Lyu, who play a critical role in making it possible. Their dedication and innovation are a testament to the importance of the railway system in China and its potential for contributing to the country’s continued growth and development.

Over the past decade, China’s railway sector has experienced significant changes, marked by fast growth and safe operation. Model railway workers like Huang Tao and Lyu Pan have been pursuing high workmanship standards through their skills and down-to-earth attitude.

According to the National Railway Administration, from 2012 to 2022, China’s railway expanded in length from 98,000 km to 155,000 km, with high-speed railways increasing from 9,000 km to 42,000 km, a world record. By the end of last year, 81.6 percent of China’s counties had access to railways, while high-speed trains reached 94.9 percent of cities with a population of more than 500,000.

Lyu acknowledges the upgrading of trains to the new generation of intelligent high-speed models over the past decade. She adds that the service equipment has become more user-friendly and intelligent, with the comprehensive abilities of the crew constantly improving.

Huang also appreciates the railway’s development over the past decade, particularly in Ningxia. He notes that in the space of three years, the Yinchuan-Xi’an and Yinchuan-Lanzhou high-speed railways have been put into operation, narrowing the distance between cities and making transport more convenient for people.

Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng acknowledges that China has been promoting the high-quality development of its transport sector. This includes deepening the country’s green and low-carbon transformation, and improving its business environment.

The railway sector has also been introducing new technologies to improve safety and efficiency. For example, in 2017, the world’s first driverless train went into operation on a subway line in the Chinese city of Yinchuan. The train can run at a maximum speed of 80 km/h and carry up to 300 passengers.

Moreover, the railway sector has also made significant efforts to enhance safety. In 2020, the country’s railway accident rate dropped to a record low of 0.065 per million train kilometers. The railway sector has also been working on developing new materials and technologies to improve rail safety.

China’s railway sector has also been investing in international cooperation. It has established partnerships with over 40 countries and regions, with railway projects underway in many of them. These include the China-Laos railway, the China-Thailand railway, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor railway.

The railway sector has also been making efforts to enhance its environmental sustainability. It has been promoting energy-saving technologies and the use of renewable energy. In 2020, the sector consumed 3.6 percent less energy per unit of transportation, and the proportion of renewable energy used increased by 1.3 percentage points.

Looking ahead, the railway sector plans to continue promoting the high-quality development of the sector. This includes developing a modern railway system with high standards of safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. The sector will also continue to promote international cooperation and work towards building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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