The Qinghai-Tibet railway is welcoming its first batch of female drivers since the railway's opening in 2006, according to railway authorities on April 17.
A total of 78 female railway workers signed up for the position, 22 of whom saw their names on the primary list after two interviews, according to the Qinghai-Tibet Group of China Railway.
The candidates will go through health checkups and participate in a three-month training. After passing the test for the assistant driver position they will start their job, the company said.
With a total length of 1,956 kilometers, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway extends from Xining, capital of Qinghai province to Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region. Some 960 kilometers of its tracks are located 4,000 meters above sea level and the highest point is 5,072 meters. The harsh environment and record-setting altitude has been a long-standing concern for female drivers for a long time.
"It's the first time for our company to elect female drivers on the rail line," said Liu Jun, head of the locomotive maintenance department.
Trains on the Qinghai-Tibet railway are now equipped with microwave ovens, refrigerators and separate restrooms, which provide a more comfortable and convenient working environment for the staff, Liu said, adding rotating schedules has greatly eased their work intensity. This is helpful for the selection and training of female drivers, he added.
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