On 4 July 2016 we took the high-speed train from Beijing to Jinan (Shandong Province) to visit a huge factory that manufactures transformers, reactors and more.
Interesting experience for several reasons.
With the HS train we left in the morning, had lunch with the company, visited the factory and were back home in Beijing in the late evening. The trains are super-fast, cruising at 300 Km/h, so smooth that you actually think they are rather “slow”. The Beijing South Railway station is simply huge, looks more like a very large international airport with shopping and all. Security is tight but smooth. As foreigners we could not order the tickets online and could not use the ticketing terminals (only available for Chinese ID card holders). We had to line up at the counter but it went rather quickly and they did accept my Green Card. For security reasons all passengers must have a valid ID.
As I expected, arriving back in Beijing the taxi line was ENORMOUS (I guess one hour queuing not enough), badly managed and with black taxis trying to rip you off. We simply took the subway, the terminal is inside the railway station.
The Jinan West Railway station is also modern and pretty cool, not crowded.
Many countries can learn from this China experience, in particular the USA who area century behind in transportation.
The visit to the factory was also impressive, one can reflect on how factories in the West can still compete. Super clean and efficient, the most modern equipment (a lot from Germany), the factory is nice, vast, few workers. Special clothing and ventilation rooms to remove the dust from you when you enter. See the pictures.
It is one of our main clients with whom we closely work together.