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Guangzhou Railway Station: a witness to the development of the city

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Written by: Sherine ZHANG
Photo by:From the Internet
Edited by:James Campion |  Date:2017/02/1274 Hits

It is a long-held cultural belief that the Lunar New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is the time when families scattered across the country reunite. As a result, China sees a travel boom on a massive scale between late January and early February. Despite the fact that 20 high-speed railways have been put into operation in the last year, and the operation mileage of national high-speed railways has reached 19,000 kilometers, it is still hard for people to get tickets to hot destinations during peak hours.

 

According to statistics, Guangzhou is the 2017 hottest departure city with a maximal passenger-flow of up to 2.9 million. As one of the busiest railway stations in southern China serving the city of Guangzhou, Guangzhou Railway Station is known for its safety record. With all kinds of measures in place to handle the largest annual movement, Guangzhou Railway Station has provided all passengers a safe, organized, and harmonious operating environment.

 

Guangzhou Railway Station

 

Since its establishment in 1974, the station has witnessed 43 years of travel boom as well as the history of Guangzhou city. To keep up with the rapid development of the city, the station has undergone huge changes. Long time before today’s situation of tickets scarcity, Guangzhou Railway Station used to offer a door-to-door ticket service in 1970s. During that period, leaders together with staff went to hotels and guesthouses to sell tickets. However, in 1986, an electronic ticket system became available.

 

An old photograph of the station

(photo by YE Jianqiang)

 

In the early 1990s, millions of migrant workers rushed into Guangzhou to seek their fortune, coinciding with a surge of passenger-flow. The railway station became the first gate to receive the migrant workers with oncoming force, and gradually turned itself into a commercial hub and has played an important role in Guangzhou transportation ever since.

 

Migrant workers rushing into Guangzhou

(photo by YE Jianqiang)

 

When a rarely-seen snow disaster hit southern China in January 2008, all trains stopped on the main line between Beijing and Guangzhou. The station saw intense chaos on an unprecedented scale: Over 40 thousands passengers were stranded at the station, which was ten times more than its limit. The crowd of people were packed in like sardines where even a limb could not move. A large amount of police officers were sent to preserve order; some of them stayed hand in hand to set up a “man wall”.

 

“Man wall”

(photo: Yuexw.com)

 

Exhausted policemen took a nap, standing

(photo: Guangzhou Daily)

 

When the new Guangzhou South Railway Station was opened, passengers were distributed and the old station was much relieved. Therefore, order could be preserved effectively. Nowadays, it only deals with some of the passengers to Beijing, Maoming, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, and Wuhan, and some short-distance, multi-stop, and low-speed lines. It still provides very convenient service to some small and medium cities.

 

Passengers lined up in order

 

Artist impression of the renovated station

 

In 2018, great changes will take place at Guangzhou Railway Station, for a plan of reconstruction and upgrading is going to be carried out. It is conceivable that in the future, an advanced station with improved facilities will make our lives more convenient.