Zhang Zhi­dong

That's China - - That's China 城市漫步 -

Be­hind the rail­way pride of the city is Zhang Zhi­dong (1837-1909), one of the “four most fa­mous of­fi­cials of the late Qing dy­nasty” and “the found­ing fa­ther of mod­ern Chi­nese in­dus­try”. Known for ad­vo­cat­ing con­trolled re­form, he served as the Gover­nor of Shanxi Prov­ince and Viceroy of Huguang, Liang­guang and Liangjiang, and also as a mem­ber of the Grand Coun­cil. A firm be­liever in the im­por­tance of rail­way con­struc­tion and mil­i­tary power to the com­pet­i­tive strength of a coun­try, Zhang Zhi­dong ex­erted his ut­most ef­fort to es­tab­lish the Guang­dong Naval and Mil­i­tary Of­fi­cers Academy

nd and the Guang­dong Vic­to­ri­ous Army, a re­gional mili­tia. He also es­tab­lished the Hubei Mil­i­tary Academy in 1896, where he em­ployed in­struc­tors from Ger­many. In 1889, Zhang Zhi­dong sub­mit­ted a writ­ten pro­posal to the throne for the con­struc­tion of a rail line be­tween Lu­gouqiao and Hankou. Con­struc­tion took about eight years to com­plete.The sen­sa­tion of the launch of the train ser­vice to­gether with the Zhengx­ian Train Sta­tion is de­scribed in his­tor­i­cal records as “peo­ple rolling into the train sta­tion from all cor­ners in the city to marvel at the jumbo”. The blar­ing lo­co­mo­tive not only made the train sta­tion area the city’s busiest place and trig­gered a burst of mass im­mi­gra­tion, but also placed the city onto a fast track in which a small, in­signif­i­cant county set off on its trans­fig­u­ra­tion into a me­trop­o­lis. Zhengzhou joined the coun­try’s high speed rail labyrinth on Fe­bru­ary 6, 2010, open­ing a new chap­ter in the rail his­tory of He­nan Prov­ince and chang­ing the life of nu­mer­ous peo­ple liv­ing in Zhengzhou and Xi’an, the cap­i­tal city of Shaanxi Prov­ince.

Zhang Zhi­dong (1837-1909)

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