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Oxygen delivering man on Qinghai-Tibet Railway

2022-03-28 14:45:00China Tibet Online

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the highest railway in the world, with harsh natural environment along the line, and air oxygen content only about 40% of the plain area. Thus, for railway employees on high altitude stations, they often need to relieve various discomfort of hypoxia and restore physical functions by absorbing oxygen. In order to meet their demand of oxygen, a group of people delivering oxygen was born, and Kui Wanxiang is one of them.

Since the opening operation of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the oxygen delivering men with the Qinghai Qinghai-Tibet Railway Service Co. Ltd have delivered oxygen for over 2,000 railway employees in dozens of stations along the line for 16 years. With Tanggula Mountain as the boundary, they have a delivery station both in Qinghai and Tibet Autonomous Region. Kui Wanxiang mainly undertakes the oxygen delivery for stations in Damxung, Nagqu, and other places within the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Since the workshop team along the line is not concentrated, plus the truck’s transporting capacity is limited, Kui Wanxiang needs to deliver oxygen at least twice or three times each month, with each round trip takes at least one week. The farthest destination is the Za’gya Zangbo Signal Workshop, about 500 kilometers away from Lhasa with an altitude of 4886 meters.

Kui Wanxiang’s oxygen truck can load 80 oxygen tanks of 40 liters weight. In order to achieve scientific distribution, Kui Wanxiang always count the oxygen storage and consumption in each station at the beginning of each month. He would set off for delivery when the demand is enough for 80 bottles. If there is an urgent demand, even a bottle of oxygen, Kui Wanxiang will fulfill the delivery mission at top speed.

On the way to transport, Kui Wanxiang should always pay close attention to the weather and road conditions, and the state of each oxygen tank, especially the bundle of each tank to help prevent the tank from being biased, which is very important on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with frequent windy and snowy weather. In addition to the changing weather, the delivering truck sometimes loses its temper. So Kui Wanxiang takes all kinds of maintenance tools and spare parts, effectively responding to emergencies such as flat tire. However, the reality is far more complicated. During a snowy delivering, the truck’s heating system suddenly damaged. Kui Wanxiang had no choice but complete the transportation task by wrapping himself in a quilt.

After arriving at the station, Kui Wanxiang also provides the “delivery home” service, and sends the oxygen tank to every room and office. He can rely on tools for delivering for building with only one floor. But for buildings with higher floors, he could only rely on himself. With oxygen tanks of 55 kilograms on shoulder, Kui Wanxiang has his own secrets – clench teeth and hold breath. “With Such high altitudes, if you stop for a breath, you would probably lose breath and strength.” After sending the oxygen tank, he also takes the empty tanks back to the truck, and the whole process will often make him exhausted.

But for Kui Wanxiang, the job has another significance, that is, to make sure railway employee not only suck “life oxygen”, but also “health oxygen”.





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