Train conductor takes pride in serving passengers on the China-Laos Railway
Zhao Yingjing serves as a train conductor on a Fuxing bullet train running along the China-Laos Railway. Before taking up this job, she was an attendant working on a slow train.
Zhao is not the first person in her family to get engaged in the railway industry. Her grandfather was a soldier of the Railway Engineering Corps of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army who participated in the construction of the Chengdu-Kunming Railway which opened to traffic in 1970, and her mother meanwhile took on the role of train attendant. Zhao became a train attendant herself with the China Railway Kunming Bureau Group Co. in 2012.
Zhao Yingjing helps a passenger to change her baby's diaper onboard a train. (Photo/China.com.cn)
Zhao pointed out that compared with the slow train that her mother had once worked on, the train that she previously served was faster.
“It took the train that my mother had worked on two days to travel from Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, to Beijing, but just one day and a half for the train that I once served on to go the same distance,” said Zhao.
In 2016, the woman started to serve on a high-speed train running between Shanghai and Kunming. She was impressed by the convenience provided by the high-speed railway service. “The high-speed train departed in the morning and arrived at its final destination in the afternoon. Then, it embarked on a return journey the next day,” said Zhao.
The construction of the China-Laos Railway delivered additional opportunities for Zhao to further develop her career. In order to staff the trains running along the China-Laos Railway, the China Railway Kunming Bureau Group Co. began to search for staff members who could speak the Lao language and had demonstrated expertise in providing railway-passenger services.
Zhao worked very hard to prepare herself for taking on the new opportunity. Because she had the chance earlier to take up studies at a university in Thailand, Zhao was able to learn the Lao language relatively fast, with the Lao and Thai languages being similar in terms of their pronunciation.
Eventually, Zhao was selected by the company to participate in pre-employment training.
Following the successive completion of major projects along the China-Laos Railway, Zhao’s proficiency in the Lao language also improved significantly.
In December 2021, when the China-Laos Railway finally opened to traffic, Zhao became the conductor of the first train to run on the route.
In the first three months or so after initiating operations, the China-Laos Railway transported a total of more than 1.3 million tonnes of cargo, as well as more than 2.1 million passengers. Nowadays, four passenger trains are operated daily on the route, compared with two trains a day at the beginning of operations.
Zhao said she always felt a sense of pride when she heard passengers from different countries speak highly of the Chinese high-speed trains.
“My grandpa’s biggest dream was that our country could build a cross-border railway. I’m delighted to have witnessed this project, not to mention participating in this project,” said Zhao.