'Cheaper and safer'

Updated: 2013-07-04 07:56

By Hu Yongqi (China Daily)

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Yang Mingying, 58, has noticed a huge difference between the outdated Yunnan-Vietnam Railway and the new trains that run on the Yuxi-Mengzi Railway, which opened three months ago.

After retiring from her job at a railway station in Kunming, Yang had time to ride the new train and visit friends and relatives. On June 23, accompanied by her husband and granddaughter, she took the Kunming-Mengzi train to visit her sister in Tonghai county, Yuxi city.

"I used to repair the 1 meter-wide rail tracks for the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway and I know how slow the old trains were," said Yang. "It took almost a whole day to travel from Kunming to Tonghai on the old track, but now it takes just two and a half hours."

The train departed from Kunming at 8:40 am, reaching its final destination, Mengzi North Station, at 13:10 pm. Yang's granddaughter Xiang Jinyue, 7, was exhilarated to meet a classmate on the train and the two girls chanted, paying no heed to the other passengers.

"The train runs smoothly and is much cheaper and safer than the bus or driving," said Yang. "That's the great benefit for regular passengers like us."

(China Daily USA 07/04/2013 page7)