Taking a cable car to meet the old times
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- It was once a daily routine in Chongqing to climb up hills by cable cars. Chaotianmen Cable Car, launched in the 1980s, is a memory for generations of Chongqing locals. With the promotion of buses, rail transit, and private cars, the previously prevalent mode of transportation is disappearing. In Chongqing, the earlier-built Changshou Cable Car is still running in its pink “new dress”. For the Mountain City, it’s both a landscape and a story and memory of old times.
Early in the morning, Changshou Cable Car, located on Fengcheng Sub-district, Changshou District, Chongqing, stopped quietly and a local resident was waiting to depart with a basket of vegetables on her back. From 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day, it carries elderly people rushing to the market, commuters, and tourists from far away, making the cabin full of vitality.
In 1964, Changshou Cable Car, built on the hillside and running through the river, was the main mean of transportation between the downtown of Changshou and the Changshou Hejie Street. A technical improvement of the Cable Car was started in 2016 to make it safer to drive till its “comeback” in 2018.
The Cable Car ride has also become popular among tourists after the body was changed to pink. Tourists will have a panoramic view of the beautiful scenery on both sides of the Yangtze River, the charm of Dinghui Temple, and the ancient landscape of Sandaoguai.
Most of those who ride the Cable Car are older local residents. When they meet someone they know on the Cable Car, they can greet to each other or have a chat. Time seems to have become soft and slow at that moment.
Li Xianzhong, 70 years old, a retired employee of Changshou Cable Car, has fond memories after returning to the place where he worked for decades, “In those days, the county’s officials and the public came to volunteer to work and move the stones, and every day two or three hundred people were busy at the site. Now, the stone pier of the cable Car is the only thing left unrenovated.”
Li Xianzhong still remembers that in the 1980s, the Cable Car undertook technical improvements to the road base, and many people volunteered to participate, “In those days, there was basically no machinery in the construction, and it was all carried by shoulders and hands, but everyone was very enthusiastic.”
Huang Rong, 49 years old, entered the station in 1989 to work as a ticket inspector, and is now the secretary of the party committee of Changshou Yongheng Cable Car Co., Ltd. She smiled and said that, like her colleagues, she had dedicated her entire youth to this place, “I’ll work for the Cable Car till I retire!”
“At first, it cost 3 cents going up and 2 cents going down. It has become a memory for many people.” Huang Rong said that the Cable Car has been free for the public since 2010 and also welcomes tourists from all over the world, and those memories that were scattered over the years have come back.
Changshou Cable Car has gotten younger again since its return. It has a more stable operating system, a smarter monitoring system, wider windows and a better view for visitors. At the same time, the Cable Car is becoming more and more stylish with industrial elements such as gears, engines and pipes.
The Cable Car has adopted “fish-bellied” trail designed by bridge expert Mao Yisheng, with a total length of 282 meters, a vertical height of 110 meters and a running slope of about 30 degrees. From the air, the chubby pink Cable Car comes from a verdant patch of grass and trees with a comic feel.
Ms. Wu, a resident of Changshou, heard that the Cable Car has gradually become an internet-popular attraction, and she, who has not taken the Cable Car for many years, came all the way here to record the beauty with her camera. “Looking out the window at the familiar scenery, I felt like I was a child again and remembered so many things.”
The Cable Car came and went, carrying people along at a slow pace without hurrying to reach their next destination. It’s a journey back in time, recreating the comforts of old times. (Translated by Wang Huixin, Fathom Language Limited)