Chinese-built trains are offering both Argentine commuters and conductors better rides, according to Fernando Pintos, who has taught would-be conductors for about 36 years.
Pintos, who works for the Metropolitan Railway of Buenos Aires operating the capital's network of commuter trains, said the electric trains feature roomier and more comfortable cabins equipped with advanced technology for conductors to more efficiently respond to any problem that may arise.
"We have received the trains from China with great pleasure. The technology is very good for the conductor and the comfort of the cabin is excellent ..." Pintos told Xinhua during an interview.
Pintos, who joined Metropolitan Railway at the age of 21, has abundant experience operating the machines.
Since 2014, three of the system's seven suburban lines have incorporated trains made by China's rolling-stock maker CRRC Corp. as part of its contract with the Argentine government.
The Roca Line, the longest one with more than 70 stations that connects the capital with parts of southern Buenos Aires Province, features more than 300 Chinese electric train cars, and 200 more are due to be included in the fleet.
In order to better train his colleagues, Pintos traveled to the port city of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong Province, learning firsthand information about the construction and design of the modern cars.
The conductors' cabins of the new trains provide enough information for the conductors to know the state of the doors and the situation of different cars, so they are able to solve problems without walking out of the cabins, said Pintos.
The new driving panel is simpler to use and gives the conductor more capacity, allowing him to control traction, speed and the brake with a single handle he can operate with one hand, Pintos added.
A back-up security system provides an emergency button that can be used to stop the train in case the control panel is disabled.
The cars also make rides more comfortable for commuters, with visual and audible signals showing whether the trains have arrived at a station or whether the doors are open.
"There is a lot of innovation" that has helped "improve the quality of the rides" for more than 500,000 passengers who daily use the Roca Line alone, Pintos said.
The 200 more new cars, worth 278 million U.S. dollars, are expected to arrive in Argentina in the next few months.
Another feature that will make the rides more convenient is that the new trains allow both the conductors and passengers to move from one car to another without having to disembark at a station.