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Rail­way em­ployee doesn’t know if he can dine with his wife dur­ing hol­i­day

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Yang Jingx­ing and his wife Li Yawen started work­ing for the Xi’an Rail­way Bureau as rail­way main­te­nance work­ers in 1980 and got mar­ried in 1985.

Since 2002, how­ever, Yang has never en­joyed Spring Fes­ti­val at home, even when his wife was bedrid­den for al­most four years af­ter a car ac­ci­dent in 2011.

Yang be­came di­rec­tor of the bureau’s Huashan work­shop — more than 100 kilo­me­ters from Xi’an — in 2014 and he could get back home only twice a month.

Yang car­ried his wife to his work site, but in­stead of it af­fect­ing his job, his team of more than 100 work­ers were praised as the best in the bureau for two years. Mean- while, he helped his wife walk again.

In Huashan work­shop, Yang has to get up around 4 am to get pre­pared to pa­trol a 40-kilo­me­ter stretch of rail­way.

“The trains don’t run for about two hours and we have to make full use of the time. From 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, we have to do the work again,” he said.

It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that they don’t work at other times.

“The rail­way sys­tem is man­aged in a very strict way. We have to an­a­lyze the mal­func­tion­ing equip­ment and fig­ure out who should be re­spon­si­ble for the prob­lem,” he said, adding his work leaves him only about seven hours for sleep.

When his wife was in hospi­tal, Yang worked even harder. Af­ter emer­gency treat­ment of 15 days, her right leg re­mained par­a­lyzed. Ev­ery day, Yang car­ried his wife on his back to the phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, and then with their legs tied to­gether he helped her re­gain the abil­ity to walk, he re­called.

“She has been try­ing to cook some sim­ple food. In the af­ter­noon, she cooks some por­ridge and then I bought some dishes from our canteen for supper. She would like me to eat bet­ter,” he said.

With the 40-day Spring Fes­ti­val travel rush that be­gan on Fri­day, Yang has to work much harder to make sure trains run un­in­ter­rupted to trans­port the large num­ber of pas­sen­gers head­ing back home for the hol­i­day.

Pressed by his work, and also be­cause of the low tem­per­a­ture in the dorm, which hurts his wife’s leg, Yang sent his wife back home.

“She told me she would like to cook some dishes to cel­e­brate Spring Fes­ti­val. But I have yet to know if her wish will get ful­filled as I usu­ally have to be on duty that day,” Yang said.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Ras­mus Larsen (cen­ter) and Dea Nielsen from Switzer­land, who are on a trip to Yun­nan prov­ince, get presents from the chief con­duc­tor of a train at Bei­jing West Rail­way sta­tion on Fri­day. The Spring Fes­ti­val travel rush started on Fri­day as hun­dreds of thou­sands of Chi­nese trav­el­ers be­gin head­ing home for cel­e­bra­tions of the Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan 28.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Yang Jingx­ing (left) and his col­leagues work on re­pair­ing a sec­tion of rail­way in Shaanxi prov­ince last year.

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