Railway has converted into Olympic Games

BEIJING: The high-speed railway line connecting Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the co-host city of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, was put into operation on Dec. 30, 2019, marking another important step ahead of the Games.
With two years to go, as Beijing accelerated its preparations to go beyond China’s century-old dream to host an Olympic Games, the century-old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway has also been transformed. In 1908, Zhang Boling, an educationalist and forerunner in China’s engagement with the Olympic movement, published an article in the Tianjin Youth magazine, posing three questions: When can China send an athlete to participate in the Olympic Games? When can China send a team to participate in the Olympic Games? When can China host an Olympic Games?
In the exact same year as Zhang planted the seeds of an Olympic dream in Chinese people’s minds, Zhan Tianyou, known as the “Father of China’s railway”, finished the construction of the Beijing-Kalgan (Zhangjiakou) railway two years ahead of schedule, using a winding track to overcome the steep gradient in the mountainous area near the Great Wall.
The train would move its locomotive from the front to the back to change direction at Qinglongqiao station, where Yang Cunxin and his father worked for a combined total of 68 years.
19-year-old Yang took up the job at the station after his father retired in 1981, and gave a rather lukewarm response when describing his job. “Simple, repetitive and boring, that’s what working at a railway station is like,” said the 58-year-old, who admitted he had tried to find another job but failed.
Yang had reason enough to complain. He had to stay up for 24 hours for a shift and pulled railway switches for over 20 trains in his first years. Only once in his 38 years at the station was he able to get time off to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family.
What motivated him to stay was the rich history of this first railway that went through the Great Wall, designed and built exclusively with Chinese labor. After frequently being asked about the railway’s provenance by travelers, he began to read articles and books on the station and visited Zhan Tianyou’s family.
The more he learned, the more fascinated he became.
“I feel extremely honored and proud to devote all my life to this historical station,” Yang told Xinhua.
Before Yang became a small part of the station’s history, China had already written its name into Olympic history. – The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item