Signalman misses dinner with his parents
This new year differs from many others for Zhang Dingtao and his new wife as they decided to remain at their jobs during Spring Festival.
The couple work at the Sanjiang high-speed railway station in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
In charge of signal maintenance, 27-year-old Zhang is proud to be a signalman, as he regards this position to be as critical as an engine driver’s to ensuring safety.
“If the signal lights, which function like the eyes of a train, go wrong, it may cause a sudden stop and therefore delay, so we have to keep an eye on the lights. The light bulb may burn out at any time,” Zhang said.
However, his job is far more complicated than changing bulbs. He has to watch the centralized monitoring system and be aware of the slightest deviation of the statistics.
“Accuracy means life in my position, for a small error may cause a fatal accident. As the control procedure is totally intelligentized now, the signalman must be qualified with technical knowledge and the virtue of prudence,” Zhang said.
There are only four signalmen in his track division, according to Zhang.
“We all want to leave for a family reunion at the end of the year, but we also need someone to stay on duty. I don’t think this makes us special because this is how our lives are safeguarded,” Zhang added.
As an only child, Zhang still feels a little guilty for not spending Spring Festival with his parents in Gansu province.