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Maintenance workers ensure safe Chinese New Year travel

Reporter: Guan Yang 丨 CCTV.com

01-25-2016 13:04 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Spring Festival

For China, a country that's laying thousands of miles of new rail each year and continues to boast one of the world’s most efficient high-speed rail networks, overcoming the Spring Festival travel rush will always be a challenge.

“The electricity stays on during the inspection, so be aware of high voltage lines, any failure or breakdowns along the track must be written down in detail,” said Li Lin, team leader of Track Maintenance, Liaoning province, at a midnight meeting for maintenance workers in China’s frozen northeast.

The workers set out at 11p.m., after the 200-kilometer-long railway line is clear for the night.

Considering that the greatest pressure from high-traffic loads are during the travel rush, the malfunction of an essential component can have serious consequences. The inspection is more important today than it has ever been.

Behind every high-speed railway line in China’s northeast, there is a group of maintenance workers who bear the freezing temperatures at night and walk along the railway track to prevent any potential hazards.

“This is a 6,000-meter tunnel, we have to carry out patrol inspections from the entrance to the exit. And it’s more than just walking; we have to finish flaw detections, dimensional measurements and more,” Li said.

During every Spring Festival travel rush, safety always comes first. Rail authorities have adopted strict safety inspection routines, and efforts have been made in fire and explosion prevention, and for emergencies.

Away from the railway track, engineers in the maintenance workshop are making sure the trains that will be put into service during the travel rush are in top condition.

“The extremely cold weather this winter is posing severe challenges to the electrical and brake systems of the trains. Our engineers have made a big effort to fix those problems. We must ensure the good condition of the trains before the travel rush,” said Liu Deshen, supervisor of Train Maintenance Facility, Shenyang.

With so many people are heading home for family reunion during the 40-day travel rush period, the busiest time has just begun for the railway workers, their hard efforts are what help secure the safety and reliability of the railway.

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