I speak fondly of my various trips to China and not taking this green train is not an option.
After landing in Tianjin, I have to head to the train station to catch the evening trip to Jilin and this is the only train available. The trip takes a whole 12 hours or sometimes 1-2 hours more depending on the traffic along the way. Wow, the journey covers 1000km and is indeed so very cheap. Something like RMB125/-!.
This train has many colors of life. Whether you are a rich man or a poor man, we share the same comforts and discomforts. I always go for the sleeping bunk for this long journey. A hard seat would kill me before I arrive at Jilin.
The train stops to pick up passengers who carries bags much bigger and heavier than the owner. Reminds me of a tortoise carrying an over-sized shell over its back. From their facial features one can see that these people have gone through the toughest of life. Dirty and torn shirts, faded pants, soiled hands, unkempt finger nails and wrinkled faces that has seen too much of the harsh exposures to the extremes of summer & winter.
The train has these floating waiters/waitress pushing carts from car to car selling meals, drinks & tidbits. The meals cost RMB15/- It's slightly expensive but the servings are really huge. Some young waiters are rather enterprising. They peddle soft toys and games too. They sell well as most people are so bored.
I have this phobia with train toilets. So I would starve myself not eating anything just to avoid going to the toilet. At times, when the need to go to the toilet arises it is a major decision to make.
The train still has these charcoal fired water boiler to serve the passengers. The attendants would come by on and off to add charcoal or water into the boiler.
China is so huge that the train actually passes through different hemisphere. It may be slightly cool at Tianjin but actually snows when we reach Shenyan and north.
Lastly, the attendants are so downright serious in their jobs. They dressed up smart and neat and hardly talk to anyone. They would diligently come by after the lights are out to arrange everyone's shoes in a neat order!. My hats off to them.
I no longer travel much to China now and won't be using this service. I shall have fond memories of these train and the people who once shared the many trips with me.
i am so familiar with this photo,when i was a little girl ,every day,i can saw many farmers from all directions of our town,came to our town train station to catch up the train to the capital city of our province,it was twice a day,morning go afternoon back, the ticket was just 0.2yuan and the time only half an hour to the capital city ,i still remember the bus ticket is 1.5 yuan,so the train is cheaper and faster than bus