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Tourist train offers unique travel experience

2024-05-20 09:34:54China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A group of passengers take photos in front of the Train Y246 at Liupanshui Railway Station in Guizhou province. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Despite being a little tired after just completing a 13-day train trip earlier this month, Wang Yulin began looking forward to his next journey.

The 77-year-old retired teacher from Liupanshui, Guizhou province, boarded Train Y246 at the Liupanshui Railway Station on April 25. Together with 465 other tourists, he embarked on an extraordinary trip on a train dedicated to sightseeing.

The departure of the 12-carriage train, named "Shifang", marked the first time that the China Railway Chengdu Group operated the giant panda-themed tourist train at Liupanshui Railway Station.

The train embodies the unique tourism culture of Chongqing and the provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou, with a design theme centered on giant pandas.

During the 13-day journey, tourists visited the cities of Jiaozuo and Luoyang in Henan province, and Qingdao, Weihai and Yantai in Shandong province.

Unlike regular trains, dedicated sightseeing trains like Shifang cater exclusively to tourists and are fitted with compartments for dining and entertainment to add to their appeal.

For Wang, the relaxed, comfortable nature of the train convinced him to embark on the adventure with five of his friends.

"We had in-depth visits to well-known attractions in these cities, such as Mount Tai, Penglai Pavilion, the Longmen Grottoes and the Yuntai Mountain UNESCO Global Geopark, one of the world's first," said Wang. "The magnificent natural landscapes and unique cultural charm of these attractions left deep impressions on me."

The train has 36 staff members on board: three conductors, 17 train attendants, 13 team leaders, one steward and two doctors.

"We chose experienced train attendants to create a better travel experience for the passengers, most of whom are seniors," said Yang Haiguang, the general team leader of the trip. "Before departure, we meticulously carry out tasks such as route design, tourist reception, travel services and transportation connections to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers throughout the journey."

The chartered train offers passengers better dining space. (Photo provided to China Daily)

To ensure the safe and smooth operation of the chartered train, staff from Liupanshui Railway Station also made advance preparations.

They actively optimized passenger boarding and set up security check zones, green channels and special waiting areas.

Additional personnel were posted at key locations such as waiting halls, passages and platforms to provide guidance, inspect tickets, request maintenance and ensure the safety and orderly travel of passengers.

"The chartered train is also a good way to enhance the reputation of our city," said Shu Jiangying, a staff member of the station. "As tourists travel outside, they can promote our pleasant, comfortable climate to those who are looking for a favorite summer tourist destination."

In addition to Sichuan cuisine, passengers on the train enjoyed various local delicacies, afternoon tea and cocktail parties. There is also a "Panda Post Office "on the train, where passengers can collect special commemorative stamps and send postcards.

The journey included an international destination, with the passengers getting off the train at one point and onto a boat that transports them from Weihai, Shandong, to Incheon, South Korea.

While there, travelers visited popular attractions, including Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, and participated in a Chinese and Korean cultural exchange gala where people from both countries sang and danced together.

In recent years, the China Railway Chengdu Group has identified popular tourist destinations for which there is a high demand for special train services. The group has launched operations in destinations such as the Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, Hong Kong and Macao.

Tourist trains have provided a new mode of travel for people who want to explore beautiful landscapes both domestically and internationally, according to the group.

Going forward, the group aims to leverage its unique tourism resources along the Southwest Railway line to operate more tourist trains suitable for different demographics and routes to meet the diverse needs of passengers. At the same time, the group will help promote the high-quality development and promotion of its cultural and tourism resources, contributing to the comprehensive improvement and revitalization of the cultural and tourism industry, it said.

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