■ 22:35 (UTC+08:00), 28 AUG 2017 | CHN CHAOYANGMEN, BEIJING
Looks like TEDx won’t be mobile any time soon: Officially, it’s “TEDx events do not travel” from the official people. Still, if there was anything close to this, on the rails, China.org seems to have pulled it off with its Zhen Xiang series of talks — one topic, many voices and ideas.
In the course of just 90 minutes, we had three talks, with me being the second one, all about railways in China, and especially the epic High Speed network. It started with a rail vehicle expert from CRRC, Mr Deng, and ended with award-winning HSR Chief Conductor Ms Li Yuan.
My talk was more about my experience on the Chinese rails — and also how it began with Swiss roots. Also, my documentary was mentioned as well — how can you not mention something that’s hit around 150 stations so far?
I’ve seen the railways during good times and bad. The expansion and brave forward-looking new projects of the late 2000s and early 2010s. How the railways were hanging in by just a thread in the wake of the terrible Wenzhou disaster in 2011. The recent recovery, starting in late 2013, and continuing through to this present day. China’s undergoing a rail revival, and it’s big as with travellers inside the country as it is with those outside.
I also mentioned how we need to take a closer look at the people behind the railways, who give up so much of their time not just to bring passengers from A to B, but also to ensure it happens smoothly, safely, and effortlessly. They needed support and appreciation as well. ■ ■ ■