Tourist train offers unique travel experience

By Yang Jun in Guiyang and Zhou Huiying | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-20 09:17
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A group of passengers take photos in front of the Train Y246 at Liupanshui Railway Station in Guizhou province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Despite being a little tired after just completing a 13-day train trip earlier this month, Wang Yulin began looking forward to his next journey.

The 77-year-old retired teacher from Liupanshui, Guizhou province, boarded Train Y246 at the Liupanshui Railway Station on April 25. Together with 465 other tourists, he embarked on an extraordinary trip on a train dedicated to sightseeing.

The departure of the 12-carriage train, named "Shifang", marked the first time that the China Railway Chengdu Group operated the giant panda-themed tourist train at Liupanshui Railway Station.

The train embodies the unique tourism culture of Chongqing and the provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou, with a design theme centered on giant pandas.

During the 13-day journey, tourists visited the cities of Jiaozuo and Luoyang in Henan province, and Qingdao, Weihai and Yantai in Shandong province.

Unlike regular trains, dedicated sightseeing trains like Shifang cater exclusively to tourists and are fitted with compartments for dining and entertainment to add to their appeal.

For Wang, the relaxed, comfortable nature of the train convinced him to embark on the adventure with five of his friends.

"We had in-depth visits to well-known attractions in these cities, such as Mount Tai, Penglai Pavilion, the Longmen Grottoes and the Yuntai Mountain UNESCO Global Geopark, one of the world's first," said Wang. "The magnificent natural landscapes and unique cultural charm of these attractions left deep impressions on me."

The train has 36 staff members on board: three conductors, 17 train attendants, 13 team leaders, one steward and two doctors.

"We chose experienced train attendants to create a better travel experience for the passengers, most of whom are seniors," said Yang Haiguang, the general team leader of the trip. "Before departure, we meticulously carry out tasks such as route design, tourist reception, travel services and transportation connections to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers throughout the journey."

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