Wang Wei has spent 10 times wandering all over China to photograph qualifies and new lines, but can he keep up with the unbelievable gait of the countrys railing boom?
It has been 10 years since Chinas self-styled set hunter set off on a 300,000 km journey to document the greatest railway lines on Earth.
Armed with his trusty Nikon camera, Wang Wei has hiked up to the wintry Tibetan plateau and across the Gobi desert; “hes having” journeyed to a tropical island in the South China Sea and to Chinas remote border with Pakistan all to satisfy his inexplicable suggest to photograph trains.
I never get tired. You dont get tired if you are doing something “youre feeling” truly enthusiastic about, says Wang, who at 24 have so far been built a personal archive of hundreds of thousands of photographs of trains.
Chinas No 1 trainspotter, who grew up only next to Beijings Xizhimen terminal and still lives with his mothers, accepts he was born with a fascination for ferroequinology.
His great-grandfather was a train driver who once transported Wu Peifu, a warlord whose exploits in early 20 th-century China made him a neighbourhood on the cover of Time publication alongside the headline: Biggest man in China.
I think there might be a love for trains in my blood, confesses Wang, whose bedroom walls are covered with his photos of studies from around China.
His train hunting mission which he officially launched in 2005 has coincided with one of the most spectacular outbursts of railway interpretation in biography; an immense engineering projection that some compare to the 19 th-century railway thunder that helped move the US “the worlds” preceding economy.
The following year, China upped the bet again, kicking off a multibillion dollar high-speed railing change designed to demonstrate the Communist partys scientific and political might.
Since that pre-Olympic pushing began, China has built the worlds longest and fastest high-speed rail itineraries, expending stylish lily-white bullet train to reduce the distances between mega-cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
In merely over seven years, about 11,800 miles( 19,000 km) of high-speed track about 55% of the world total has been laid. What “the worlds” did in half-a-century, we have done in 10 years, said Zhao Jian, a vehicle expert from Jiaotong University in Beijing.
Beijings railways are also croaking global with countries including the US, Thailand, Indonesia and the UK poised to build high-speed railing projections with contradicting levels of Chinese involvement.