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Station gears up for big holiday travel rush
chinadaily.com.cn 2019-01-30 17:27:39

Staff members at Zhuyuanba Station take a pre shift roll call at 8 am, Jan 23, 2019. [Photo by Su Zhigang / for chinadaily.com.cn]


Located in Qingchuan county in Sichuan province, Zhuyuanba is a small station on the Baoji-Chengdu Railway, a main line connecting northwestern and southwestern China.


Despite its small size, the station plays a key role in ensuring the safety of the whole Baoji-Chengdu line.

The station provides no passenger service and its main responsibility involves the delivery of goods and emergency evacuation for natural disasters.


The station has six staff members on duty each day to monitor the tracks, which are surrounded by long tunnels and high mountains. Personnel who don't live in the local area often have a hard time getting home.


Since no passenger train stops at the station, the staff members could only go home by rural buses or passing vans, and the journey often takes hours.


"I have to change buses and trains at least five times to get home. With bad luck, it could be a day's journey," said Zhan Xiaolong, a young Tibetan worker who lives in Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture.


In winter, the weather in the valley is cold, which makes the station particularly windy. As trains pass, the wind feels like a knife. Yang Yong, an assistant watchman, is so engrossed in monitoring the train that he could not rub his frozen ears to warm them up.


"The signal light is on," said Yang, confirming the route of T8, a passenger train, at the pickup point.


"About 200 trains pass through the station over the course of a day and night. During heavy traffic, trains will pass every few minutes, so we must maintain our concentration. If we feel tired, we use cold water to wash away our fatigue," Yang said.


When night falls, the surroundings gradually quiet down, and personnel at the station start getting busy.


"The night shift often involves four or five hours of working outdoors. Working close to the trains is even colder, so we must put on more clothes," said Yi Xiaoyong, an operator on the night shift, as he takes care of his cotton-padded jacket.


"Thinking of the fungus, mushrooms, coal for electricity, minerals and other Chinese New Year goods transported to the whole country through our operations, I feel my work is particularly meaningful even though the station does not transport passengers," Yi Xiaoyong answered when asked whether such hard work is worthwhile.


 
 
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