As hi-speed railways criss-cross* the country, its strange to find this vestige of an earlier, much poorer China. Built during the so-called 'Great Leap Forward' in 1958, to facilitate the extraction of much needed coal from a remote coal mine, the railway gradually became a lifeline for this remote village in the wild mountain country of Sichuan. The village population (in those days) numbered thousands, but has now declined to about 1000.
* Starting 2007/8, the Chinese government has built 19,000 km of high speed railway linking and cross linking the major city areas of China. Lines are now snaking out from China and will shortly permit high speed rail travel to S.E.Asia and Europe.