Ded­i­ca­tion keeps Bei­jing’s safest metro op­er­a­tor mov­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By FAN FEIFEI

Liao Ming, a sub­way op­er­a­tor with the Bei­jing Sub­way Com­pany, set a record for driv­ing 900,000 km with no ac­ci­dents in his 30 years on the job, be­com­ing the safest driver on the ur­ban trans­port cir­cuit in the coun­try.

Liao started op­er­at­ing sub­way cars in Au­gust 1985 af­ter grad­u­at­ing from a tech­ni­cal school.

“To be­come an ex­cel­lent metro op­er­a­tor, one needs to have good tech­ni­cal skills and the abil­ity to be ready for the un­ex­pected.”

He said he once dreamed of go­ing to col­lege, but chance led him to ul­ti­mately be­come a sub­way op­er­a­tor.

When Liao started at the sub­way com­pany, he was de­ter­mined to work hard and learn from his more ex­pe­ri­enced co-work­ers. Ev­ery time he en­coun­tered a prob­lem, he wrote it down and then asked the sea­soned oper­a­tors how to solve it.

To en­sure the trains were in good op­er­at­ing or­der, Liao would of­ten walk up and down along­side the metro cars with a ham­mer, check­ing for any me­chan­i­cal de­fects. Af­ter work­ing with the com­pany for some time, he was able to draw up a cir­cuit di­a­gram of the trains. In 1989, he be­came the com­pany’s youngest head op­er­a­tor.

“I or­ga­nized ac­tiv­i­ties ev­ery month. I praised the staff mem­bers with the most out­stand­ing per­for­mances each month and held dis­cus­sions on ways we could im­prove,” Liao said, adding that his team was like a big, warm fam­ily.

He came to work ev­ery morn­ing 20 min­utes ear­lier than his col­leagues to check the trains be­fore they started mov­ing pas­sen­gers for the day.

In 2002, Liao was trans­ferred to Line 13 and had to re­learn some of the ba­sics of the job, such as the pro­ce­dures of the new route and how to op­er­ate the dif­fer­ent trains.

Be­cause the trains on Line 13 run above ground, deal­ing with weather con­di­tions was a new ob­sta­cle and a skill that he’d need to mas­ter.

In sum­mer 2007, Liao was driv­ing a train to­ward the Xierqi sta­tion when he spotted an un­known ob­ject on the rail. He put on the brakes im­me­di­ately, stop­ping about 1 me­ter in front of it. Upon in­spec­tion, he found the ob­ject was a piece of braided fab­ric, about 35 me­ters long, 1.5 me­ters wide and 1 cen­time­ter thick, that had been blown onto the rail by the wind.

If Liao had hes­i­tated to stop, the

As a qual­i­fied driver, you must unite with the train, that is, the train is a part of my body and I am also a part of the train.”


sub­way could’ve de­railed.

“As a qual­i­fied driver, you must unite with the train, that is, the train is a part of my body and I am also a part of the train,” Liao ex­plained, us­ing a sen­tence he of­ten said to his col­leagues.

In the nearly 30 years of be­ing a metro op­er­a­tor, Liao has never had a dis­pute with a pas­sen­ger. “I treat ev­ery pas­sen­ger as if they’re my rel­a­tive. If time per­mits, I let each per­son get on or off the train at their leisure.”

Liao al­ways puts his pas­sen­gers’ lives and property first.

He even stopped an armed thief once. The thief, who was try­ing to steal a pas­sen­ger’s wal­let, pan­icked af­ter be­ing spotted and put a knife to the pas­sen­ger’s throat. Liao, who had just started his shift, jumped on the thief while he wasn’t look­ing and man­aged to wres­tle the dag­ger away from him.

Bei­jing’s safest metro op­er­a­tor has re­ceived many hon­ors. In 2009, he was awarded with the Golden Hand­shake, the high­est honor given to oper­a­tors with the Bei­jing Sub­way Com­pany, and in 2013, the Bei­jing Fed­er­a­tion of La­bor Unions pre­sented him with the Cap­i­tal’s La­bor Medal.

He is metic­u­lous at his work, and his life is also rich and col­or­ful. “I try to stay in shape. I play ta­ble ten­nis sev­eral times a week and some­times call on my col­leagues to help me strengthen my ex­er­cise rou­tine.”

Liao said that he plans to keep up his legacy as the metro’s safest op­er­a­tor and that he will chal­lenge him­self to achieve new heights in the fu­ture.


Liao MIng, who works for the Bei­jing Sub­way Com­pany, op­er­ates a sub­way car. As a sub­way op­er­a­tor, Liao has driven 900,000 km ac­ci­dent-free.

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