1st Day for Spring Festival transportation on Qinghai-Tibet Railway

At half past eight on Jan. 24, the Lhasa railway station square is full of passengers; the ticket office hall is filled with crowds queuing in line waiting to collect their tickets.

In such a busy yet cozy atmosphere, Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the longest and highest railway in the world, ushered the first day of passenger transport for the Spring Festival.

Fu Caimao, a peasant-worker, who is from Sichuan and works in Lhasa, has already got his ticket smoothly and passed the security checks in the early morning, sitting in the waiting room he awaits his train.

He said, when he had just passed the security checks, the volunteers in red waistcoats helped him to carry his luggage to the waiting room with a small trolley seeing that he was an old man with a lot of luggage. “The staff in Lhasa are very caring with a kindly attitude.”

Zhao Hailin, vice head of the Lhasa railway station said, in order to ensure the passengers’ safety and convenience in traveling, the Lhasa railway station has improved its service for the convenience of the passengers.

Apart from providing the services such as a room for mothers and infants, a post office and trolleys at the waiting room, the train station also provides articles such as wheelchairs and stretchers for the old, weak, sick, disabled and pregnant and opens a green passage for them through the assistance of people specifically appointed for tasks of assistance at security check points as well as at the platforms, Zhao added.

Emergency medicine-chests, handbooks for traveling along the plateau etc. are placed orderly at the “Five-color Hada Passenger Service Center” located at the entrance of the train station. Passengers are queuing in line filling out “Health Register Cards” that are issued in Tibetan, English and Han Chinese languages with information about passengers’ names, train numbers as well as individual heath conditions. 

 “It is not easy for those who work far from home to go back home for the Spring Festival, what we can do is very little, serving a cup of hot tea, helping them carry the luggage, support the old and children to walk downstairs… We hope that we can bring some warmth to them on their ways back home.”, said Wang Yansheng, deputy chief of the Train Service Team of the Lhasa railway station, who is at his job-site responsible for coordinating and managing. 

Zhou Meiqin, party branch secretary of the passenger transport workshop of the Lhasa railway station, explained, in the Lhasa railway station, there are eight trains in total departing from Tibet on the first day of during the Spring Festival transportation season. It is estimated that, these eight trains will send 4,700 people leaving Tibet with all seats taken, in the coming days the passenger flow leaving Tibet will remain stable.

During passenger transport for the Spring Festival, the Qinghai-Tibet railway is predicted to send away 1,300,000 people, that means 32,500 people everyday at average, marking an increase of 5.8% from the previous year, all data regarding passenger dispatching will demonstrate a new highest record for spring-transportation history along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. 

Following the train whistle, the first train during the spring-transportation of this year departing from Lhasa for Lanzhou (Z918) slowly leaves the platform. Outside the train windows, the sunshine along the plateau has penetrated the morning haze, sprinkling warmth onto the earth below…