How the new high-speed railway came on track

Updated: 2012-12-27 09:50

By Hu Yongqi and Xiang Mingchao in Zhengzhou and Yang Wanli in Beijing (China Daily)

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The 24-year-old has to alter his biological clock every three days because he works every second night. When his shift ends at 6 am, he grabs a quick meal before attempting to get some sleep. The next day is spent relaxing, but he often finds it difficult to sleep until 3 am, meaning that he has to take an afternoon nap before going to work for his next shift.

"If you don't sleep for a while before starting the nightshift, your brain gets fuzzy and you can't concentrate after midnight. It feels as if you're drunk," said Luo. "But it's always extremely hard to fall in sleep in the afternoon."

However, after four years of this regime, Luo has managed to overcome the transition and the timing of the shift is less of a headache.

Luo and his colleagues perform the final safety checks on the trains to ensure they are fully operational the next day. In June, the railway bureau built a workshop where the trains for the Beijing-Zhengzhou HSR, the final section of the line that opened on Dec 26, are repaired. Luo is one of 390 professionals employed at the workshop, which is located in a suburb of Zhengzhou.

Routine checks

At 7 pm, Luo and his colleagues begin inspecting the trains to search for possible mechanical malfunctions. At the workshop, four high-speed trains, each consisting of 16 cars, are ready on the section of feeder line that is connected to the main rail network. When all the checks and necessary repairs have been successfully carried out, the trains go into service at Zhengzhou Railway Station.

The silvery-white locomotives shone spotless in the bright overhead lights. When the cleaners have finished washing the trains, passersby might be reluctant to touch them and leave any fingerprints on the metal-textured bodies.

How the new high-speed railway came on track

Lu Yifan, 3, proudly displays his mother's ticket. Hou Yu / China News Service

If a component has sustained damage, Luo verifies and videotapes all the procedures when the engineer installs the new part. After ensuring that the repair has been carried out correctly, Luo and the engineer both sign a safety report that is filed with the railways bureau.