Patrol group keeps trains running at speed

By LUO WANGSHU | China Daily | Updated: 2022-02-16 08:54
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A team of maintenance workers from the China Railway Nanchang Group walks along the high-speed rail line linking Hefei in Anhui province and Fuzhou in Fujian province during their daily patrol. CHINA DAILY

Daily work makes sure high-speed lines free of dangers, benefiting passengers and wildlife alike

A team of four men aged between their early 20s and mid-30s carry tool boxes along a stretch of high-speed rail through the mountains day after day. In the course of a month, they walk as many as 300 kilometers.

If this was the plot of a movie, they probably would be members of a gang of train robbers but in reality, the men walking through the Wuyi Mountains in eastern China's Fujian province are members of a high-speed rail patrol team.

Their main responsibility is to remove any hazards to bullet train operations they might find along the way.

"We ensure the tracks are in good condition and also prevent outside factors like fallen rocks on the tracks from affecting operations," said Li Min, a member of the patrol team.

China has the world's longest high-speed railway network, which covers a total of 40,000 km. There are thousands of patrol workers along the network but what is unique about Li's team is the added responsibility they have related to wildlife and environmental protection.

He and his colleagues patrol back and forth along a 150-km section of the high-speed line linking Hefei in Anhui province and Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian. Bullet trains travel the 850-km line at speeds of up to 300 km per hour.

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