08 January 2016 will mark one full year of accelerated CRH train services at Hohhot Rail, which mainly serves Inner Mongolia. Train repair crew are getting ready just before the big day just ensure that trains are working perfectly. Mostly in their 20s, they don’t have all the time in the world: all work has to be completed by no later than 05:00, just before the sun’s out again.
These members of rail crew are here to ensure all screws are tightened, all seats and working, the air conditioning system is running as usual and the boilers are in good order as well.
Dawn comes and with that, the first trains to mark the one-year anniversary pull into the stations. The accelerated CRH train services have connected the cities of Ulanqab, Hohhot, and Baotou, slashing travel time from 2 1/2 hours to 1 1/2 hours. An increase in speed have also meant more trains for all. 12 trains per direction operate on the line daily, with first services beginning at 06:24, and trains running well into the evening hours, until 21:46. Around 15,000 riders are carried every day, which in a year would easily mean over 5 million passengers in all.
Many have used the line to get from A to B. For some, though, the line has been more special, with some using this to get from one home to the other, and also to university. Rail crew also look a slight bit different on this service in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, with uniforms adopting a rather localised look.
Hohhot Rail, which operates the services, report of a trouble-free year, with no major customer complaints and high satisfaction with dedicated ticket pickup windows and waiting areas. This indeed is a new line to check out for those of us travelling to this part of northern China.