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Train driver sees China's rail technology steam ahead during career

(People's Daily Online)    09:06, December 05, 2018
Train driver sees China's rail technology steam ahead during career
High-speed train driver Han Junjia salutes in front of a Fuxing bullet train. (Photo/Li Nanhua from People’s Daily Online)

“When I was young, I wanted to be a train driver,” said 45-year-old Han Junjia, a high-speed train driver in Beijing, explaining that his childhood dream had been to drive the fastest train possible. Little did he know, as a boy, that there would one day be a train that could drive 350 kilometers per hour.

When Han first entered the industry, the maximum speed of steam locomotives was 56-60 kilometers per hour, and drivers dealt with harsh working conditions.

Han started his career as a stillman. During this time all he needed for work was a multipurpose lunchbox, which could be used as a pot to reheat rice, a container to drink water from and a seat in case he got tired.

In 1996, Han became a diesel locomotive driver. He was delighted because the driver’s cabin was upgraded, and new train facilities were added such as a monitoring system, a temperature detector and a rear view mirror, making work more manageable.

However, Han said the diesel trains were so loud so that he and his colleagues had to shout in order to communicate with each other.

In 2008, there was a breakthrough in China's railway development when electric trains were introduced throughout the country. The speed increased from 120 km per hour to 160 km per hour, and the new electric trains were much safer as computers controlled them.

In 2009, Han signed up as a high-speed train driver along the Beijing-Shanghai route, which was still under construction at the time, and in November 2010, Han became a high-speed train driver. He said the train's beautiful interior, futuristic design and incredible speed impressed him.

On Sept. 21, 2017, Han became a Fuxing bullet train driver. These trains, which are developed in China, are designed to run at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour. In July 2018, sixteen lengthened Fuxing Bullet trains went into operation.

“Whenever I drove a new train, I felt the progress of the country’s rail technology,” said Han. 


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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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