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Craftsmanship spirit ensures safe operation of bullet trains

XINHUA | Updated: 2022-09-27 09:35
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CHANGCHUN — Purchase a ticket online and board any high-speed train in China, and chances are that you'll be riding in a train manufactured at a suburban factory in the northeastern city of Changchun.

CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles, known as being the cradle of China's metro transit and electric multiple unit production, manufactures about 40 percent of the country's high-speed trains. A giant workshop at the corner of CRRC Changchun plays a crucial role in the safe operation of these bullet trains.

The workshop, which can accommodate 77 EMU carriages at the same time, is the assembly line for high-speed trains.

Different kinds of carriages are arranged in an orderly manner, and workers are busy toiling in the carriages or under the trains. Most of these workers are wiring operators.

"Don't underestimate this job," said Yao Zhihui, a 34-year-old junior operator at CRRC Changchun.

A high-speed train contains nearly 20,000 wires and about 100,000 junction points, Yao explained, adding that they are like the "nerves" of the train, and any error or deviation may affect normal operations.

Yao joined CRRC Changchun in 2011, becoming one of the country's first generation of high-speed railway workers. She started as a wirer, a low-level position that entails connecting 200 to 300 wires per day.

A number tag corresponding to the worker's identity is attached to the wire following the completion of the operation; this is the company's signature method for ensuring meticulous quality.

Workers like Yao take pride in their roles as the company provides a clear route for professional advancement. Through training, practical operation and assessment, they can move up the ladder from wiring worker to technician, operator, expert and even become a scientist.

Some have even received provincial and national honors.

Han Dongning, 49, is a senior expert at the company. During his three decades of experience he has witnessed the industry's transformation from making slow trains to making domestically manufactured high-speed trains.

In 1997, China implemented its first significant railway speed increase. Since then, the country's high-speed rail technology has continued to achieve breakthroughs, from 250 km/h to 350 km/h, and then to 400 km/h. Made-in-China high-speed trains not only operate in freezing weather and desert regions, but they also come with magnetic levitation and driverless technology.

Han said that as trains become faster and more intelligent, the more complex their software and hardware systems will become, requiring higher technical competence for daily inspection and maintenance by workers.

"For us, improving our skills to ensure safe operation of the trains is an endless learning curve," Han said.


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