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A train lover's world of collections


03-16-2017 08:33 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

For most of us, trains are just a mode of transportation. But for Chen Tianhao, a young man living in Qingdao city in east China's Shandong province, trains are a part of his life -- and his house. He has filled his home full of Chinese railway paraphernalia.

Chen Tianhao's train collection is a veritable museum. From old fashioned "green trains" to ultra-modern high-speed bullet trains, his models represent each phase of railway development in China. The 23-year-old started his collection in 2010, when he took a part-time job so he could start his train collection. 

"When I was in a middle school, I worked for a grocery store, earning 10 yuan per hour. I was paid 1,800 yuan after a whole summer of work. Then I spent nearly 900 yuan buying this model. It was a large sum of money at that time," Chen said.

Chen's treasure trove also includes these train tickets. Nearly 15 hundred pieces of paper stubs, with the oldest one dating back to the 1980's. Most of the tickets that he has collected were used by himself and his family. And some of them carry precious memories of those "good old days".

"The tickets for train number 5026 remind me of my childhood, when I travelled with my grandma from Qingdao to Cangkou, where her home was located. Back then the journey only cost one and a half yuan," Chen said.

Traveling by train is also a hobby for Chen Tianhao. He has travelled by train every  summer and winter since he was 14 years old. He has also ridden almost every train that passes through Qingdao railway station. He has travelled more than 35 thousand kilometers by train, a distance long enough to circle around the earth's equator.  Chen has been as far China's Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet autonomous regions. Next he wants to go to Europe.  

"I have decided to take a train to Europe this October. The first stop will be Moscow. I'm really excited," Chen said.

Chen said his affection for trains comes from his love for life on the move. When he travels, he can see different landscapes and meet interesting people, both inside and outside the train carriages. 

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