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He Witnessed the Changes in China's Railways Before Retirement | Story


Chongqing- “When I saw the test train speeding through the Zhengzhou-Chongqing High-speed Railway, I was gratified by the stable and powerful power supply of the overhead line system,” said Yu Guangquan, a railway worker who participated in the construction of this new line on the eve of his retirement. He has witnessed the construction of the Zhengzhou-Chongqing high-speed railway and the tremendous changes in China’s railways.

Yu Guangquan inspects the running state of equipment in the substation

Yu Guangquan inspects the running state of equipment in the substation. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

At 8:47 a.m. on April 22, the test train departed from Wanzhou North Railway Station, marking the section from Wanzhou North to Wushan of the Zhengzhou-Chongqing high-speed railway officially entering the operational test phase. The line will open to the public later this month.

Hard times

Yu is an electrician of the Chongqing Engineering and Electricity Section, China Railway Chengdu Group Co., Ltd. In March 2021, he volunteered to work in Zhengzhou-Chongqing’s new line for a year at retirement. His job is to provide power input for high-speed railway trains. On April 28, he officially retired.

In 1962, Yu was born into a family of railway workers. His father is a railway man, and Yu grew up with a healthy respect for railway work since childhood. He was determined to be a glorious railway man like his father when he grew up.

In December 1982, Yu became a power supply worker for the Guiyang Engineering and Electricity Section, China Railway Chengdu Group Co., Ltd. For nearly 40 years, from 1985 to 2019, he moved to the construction of the Guiyang-LiuPanshui Line, the Neijiang-Liupanshui Line, and the Chongqing-Huaihua Line, where conditions were harsh at the time.

“When working in Erdaoyan substation on the Guiyang-Liupanshui Line, we had to go two kilometers down the hill to collect water for day to day life. The wind howled like a wolf at night on the hillside where the substation is located.” Talking about the hard years in the past, Yu spoke calmly, as if he was telling an ordinary thing.

Dreams come true before retirement

In March 2021, he was one year shy of retirement. He learned that the company needed to organize a group of employees to participate in constructing the Zhengzhou-Chongqing high-speed railway. He took the initiative to apply for participation. The company considered the construction conditions and worried about his physical condition, so the leader returned his application. He convinced the leader by telling his experience in constructing new lines. Moved by his enthusiasm for railway construction, his leader nodded in agreement.

The working group supervises 17 stations, including three traction substations and three power distribution rooms in the Chongqing section of the Zhengzhou-Chongqing high-speed railway.

Yu Guangquan inspects the equipment condition of the high voltage chamber in the substation. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Yu Guangquan inspects the equipment condition of the high voltage chamber in the substation. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Yu suggested that the production of high-voltage cable heads should be recorded in the whole process, and each copper bar should be confirmed on-site while laying the ground grid. These detailed supervision schemes only found more than 600 defects in the early stage, which helped build the new railway line to high standards.

Intelligent inspection robot

“In the past, a substation needed 8 to 10 people on duty and contacted by telephone. Now the equipment is constantly updated, and the reliability is improved. A substation only needs 2 to 3 people. With the assistance of intelligent inspection robots, it can even be realized unattended,” said Yu.

The intelligent inspection robot

The intelligent inspection robot. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

The three traction substations of the Zhengzhou-Chongqing high-speed railway have introduced intelligent inspection robots. The robot has equipped with a six-axis collaborative robot arm. The robot is the latest intelligent inspection robot in China that uses a robot arm to operate and detect the substation’s equipment. It can carry out independent inspections and make up for the blind spot of the fixed camera. Especially for electrical equipment inspection, its remote infrared imaging can quickly obtain temperature and electrical defects. At the same time, the robot also has an autonomous charging mode, effectively replacing manual inspection.


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