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A Magical Job: Working as a Subway Driver in Chongqing | China Youth Portrait ⑤


Editor’s notes: The monorail in Chongqing has always been described as “magical,” which can pass through buildings, climb up the mountains, or cross the Yangtze River. Nevertheless, Li Qing, at 5’4″ tall, drives this “giant magical vehicle” in this 8D city. She is attentive and determined, ensuring all passenger reach their destination safely and on time.

Driver Li Qing in front of the Leifenghao subway Train (Photo provided to iChongqing)

“As a subway driver, my work starts before getting into the driver’s room. I must be thoroughly focused the whole time. We have a full process before driving, such as checking the dress code, getting the work package, answering questions, taking alcohol monitoring, and getting the shift card.”

Driver Li Qing performs the confirming line operation in the driver’s room. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

“Ensuring the passenger’s safety is my utmost priority. For safety and punctuality, I have very little time to deal with personal issues during working hours.”

“Despite the monorail being autonomous, it does not mean I can lose concentration. I must thoroughly watch ahead in case foreign objects are on the track line, call out loudly to confirm signals, lines, turnouts, and limits, and deal with accidents at the platform doors quickly and decisively.”

Driver Li Qing performs the closing operation. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

“We work in shifts, so physical fitness is essential to being a rail driver. There are fewer female drivers. But women also have their advantages. Being physically strong does not equal good driving skills. It requires good observational skills to avoid mistakes, patience to point and call at every station, and memorizing every work detail…… In these matters, I’m as good as any male driver.”

Driver Li Qing checks the train hook. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

“I still remember the first time I sat alone in the driver’s room, operating this giant vehicle forward. A faint light came from the front of the dark tunnel. It was so quiet that the only sound around was the monorail moving. I had never felt so good and excited before. It was the first time I felt I was awesome.”


A Tour in Chongqing, A Gain in Vision

A Land of Natural Beauty, A City with Cultural Appeal

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