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Rail technician witnesses fast-track development

By ZHENG YIRAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-10-03 08:14
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Ke Xiaobin, a high-speed railway technician with China Railway Signal and Communication (Group) Corp Ltd (CRSC). [Photo provided for China Daily]

Ke Xiaobin, a high-speed railway technician with China Railway Signal and Communication (Group) Corp Ltd (CRSC), is measuring "China speed" with her own hands.

Ke, who was elected as a delegate to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, is a relay adjuster for Shenyang Railway Signal Co Ltd, a subsidiary of CRSC. In 2003, Ke, then 20 years old, joined the company as a technician.

Relay adjusters, working in the rail signal control system, are key to high-speed rail systems as they must get equipment debugging down to a fine art, and adjustment requirements for technicians are very stringent, such as the pressure of each contact and pressure differentials, which all need to be adjusted manually.

When high-speed trains are barreling down the track, the signal control system serves as a "central nervous system", ensuring safe and efficient operation of the railways, according to information from CRSC.

For the system to be fully effective, countless relays along every rail act as "neurons" supporting safe and efficient operations.

Having suffered many failures at the outset, Ke turned to "masters" for guidance, and focused on key techniques along with her diligence and tireless practice. Within half a year, she became the first adjuster among her peers to finish her work independently.

After 19 years of valuable experience, Ke now has become a master herself, and has worked out an adjusting craftsmanship of her own. When experts from Westinghouse Electric Corp, a world-renowned relay producer, visited her workplace, they were impressed by Ke's techniques and called them a "Chinese miracle".

Ke, as a technician working on train tracks, has been witnessing the rapid development of China's high-speed rails.

"I think I am lucky to be a Chinese as well as a member of the CPC. As a railway technician, I have encountered the best era, when China is leading the development of high-speed railways," she said.

China laid 2,168 kilometers of high-speed rails in 2021, ranking tops globally, lifting the total length of operating rails to more than 40,000 km, according to information from the National Railway Administration.

CRSC, as a State-owned railway control system provider, has been stepping up innovative efforts to improve its system and safeguard high-speed rail journeys.

In the first half of this year, the company spent 755 million yuan ($107.6 million) on research and development. A total of 4,270 experts have reaped 5,130 intellectual property patents domestically and globally, the company said.

"In the future, I will remain true to the original aspiration, keep my mission firmly in mind and continue to make my own contributions," Ke said.

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