Across China: Railway cartoons show safe way home

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-03 16:31:32|Editor: ZX
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HOHHOT, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Instead of staying at home in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, this year Chen Changxu has decided to join his son, who works in Beijing, for the Lunar New Year family gathering.

However, the 63-year-old has not traveled by train for seven years. It is confusing for him. "I heard that nowadays passengers can pass ticket checks using self-service machines and enter the station by facial recognition. But I don't know how."

A series of cartoon video clips his son sent him have helped relieve his anxiety.

The cartoons taught him about the emerging technologies of traveling by train and how to avoid fraud during travel.

The cartoons were created by railway workers responsible for maintaining railway communication lines and optical cable facilities in the regional capital Hohhot.

In 2017, Hohhot East Railway Station introduced self-service ticket checking machines to allow swift passage. "However, many passengers did not know how to use the new facilities, delaying their time to catch a train," Lyu Liyan, one of the cartoon team members, said.

Lyu then got an idea of making a cartoon guide, which she said would be more popular and easier to understand than written words.

Lyu spent seven days designing, sketching and producing the short video clip introducing the facial recognition machine. It was not only played at the station but also spread widely on social media.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese joined their families to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 5 this year. The annual travel rush around the festival, known as "chunyun," often puts strain on the transport system.

Lyu and her team have drawn the "Spring Festival travel rush calendar" every year since 2017, sharing travel tips and sending festival greetings to passengers.

Besides serving passengers, the team has created cartoons reminding railway workers of travel rush safety.

"Chunyun is the busiest time of the year for railway transportation. Safety should not be neglected," said Xu Wen, another member of the team.

One of Xu's works, which featured an illustration of the Chinese legendary figure the Monkey King, gave tips about what shoes railway workers should wear while inspecting railway tracks in winter.

"With vivid stories, the cartoons help the workers keep rules in mind, ensuring the safety of train operations," she said.

The cartoon team is well known in their workplace. "We will continue to record our stories during the Spring Festival travel rush with our drawing pens," Lyu said.