It is a locomotive whistle no different from other outmoded whistles. But it was the one installed on the "Bayi Hao" train, the first steam locomotive to take to the rails following the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
China had no domestically-manufactured locomotives before the PRC's founding. Before this, all locomotives had been assembled from old parts made by other countries, or renovated from foreign-made models.
In 1952, China's march towards the independent manufacturing of steam locomotives began at the Sifang Railway plant in Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Workers at the plant started to design drawings and cast cylinder stators. The dream to build China-made locomotives was becoming true, step-by-step.
Some technicians at the plant stayed in the workshop 24/7, gaining knowledge of chemicals and carrying out tests despite having limited materials.
Due to their perseverance and diligence, innumerable components were produced here.
On August 1, 1952, the "Bayi Hao" locomotive made its debut, opening a new chapter in the country's railway locomotive industry.
Following this, China's first diesel locomotive, electric locomotive, subway train and high-speed train consecutively rolled off the production line at CRRC Corporation Limited (CRRC)'s plants.
The Fuxing high-speed train, consisting of more than 500,000 components, was also born in the plant area, which by then had become home of the retired "Bayi Hao" locomotive.
Nowadays, there are 3,918 high-speed trains running on 38,000 kilometers of high-speed railways in China, offering the best and safest travel and contributing to the country's economic development.
(Executive editor: Wang Ruoting)