vendredi 2 septembre 2011

Living the Bullet Life

Some details about the Bullet life.

Why bullet? Because I am a commuter, a bullet commuter.
I have to take the bullet train from Shanghai (上海) to Suzhou (苏州) almost daily. At the maximum of 300 km/hours that is certainly the fastest way to cover the 80 kilometers between the 2 cities. It is also a very comfortable way to travel but the most amazing part of traveling by train in Shanghai is that it is even better organized than traveling by plane in Europe.

To let you understand what I mean by "organized" I took this picture of Shanghai Hong Qiao Railway Station (上海虹桥站). The small black dots on the picture are not ants, they are human beings. Yes, it is a BIG room. This is the waiting room and also the departure lounge from where you can access all the platforms. Like in an airport there is a security check at the entry of the lounge. The platform are at the level below the lounge, the level above, from where the photo is taken is the restaurants and shops level.
The wide blue screens (nothing to do with Windows…) in the middle of the lounge displays all the departures for the next hour, but all names are written in Chinese, so you'd better know your train number to make sure you don't end up at the other side of the country, which is quite large. 
As far as organization is concerned, on one side of the lounge are the A doors for the head of the train, on the other side the B doors for the end. Depending on your ticket you will use the doors on one side or another, some 10 minutes before the departure. On the left side of the picture you can see the orange gates where your ticket is checked and that let you go.


And then, the Frog enters the Bullet…

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Marc Augier