All aboard the ‘love train’! China sends more than 1,000 young single people on an overnight rail journey to help them find their other half
- Unique match-making trip was organised by the railway authority and the Communist Youth League
- The 10-carriage ‘Love-Pursuit Train’ took hundreds of people on a two-day one-night outing last week
- 10 couples have got married after finding each other on the train since the service was launched in 2017
- One woman said she met a passenger who shared her values and they had agreed to start a relationship
Some say love is a journey. And in China, a special train service has been designed to take the country’s 200 million single people to a destination called amour.
More than 1,000 young men and women embarked on a romantic overnight trip last week, hoping to find their Mr and Mrs Right among like-minded fellow travellers.
The 10-carriage train, known as the Y999 ‘Love-Pursuit Train’, was launched three years ago as a creative platform for young people to meet.
One female passenger on China’s ‘love train’ gives a hand sign of a heart during the two-day one-night match-making journey
More than 1,000 young people, including 70 railway workers, took part in the special adventure last week from Chongqing
The journey’s organisers designed various games to help the participants get to know each other on the 10-carriage train
More than 3,000 youngsters have ridden the train on its three annual trips and 10 couples have got married after finding each other on the train.
The latest edition left the Chongqing North Station on Wednesday for a two-day one-night outing, bringing hundreds of love hopefuls, including 70 people who work for the Chengdu Railway Bureau.
The creative match-making service was initiated by the railway authority of Chengdu together with the Communist Youth League of Chongqing.
One female passengers of the Y999 ‘Love-Pursuit Train’ prays for good fortune during the romance-seeking overnight trip
The train from the Chongqing North Station to Qianjiang is the third match-making journey authorities have organised
Four single young people enjoy a meal together during the memorable trip orgaised by the railway authority of Chengdu
The journey’s organisers designed various games and dining options to help the participants get to know each other.
The passengers were also invited to stopover at an ancient water town, called Zhuo Shui, where they watched traditional performance and enjoyed a 1,000-people banquet.
Through the unique adventure, one woman known as Yang Huan said she already found a boyfriend.
‘We only got to know each other on the return trip and realised we had matching values,’ she told youth.cn, a news website affiliated to the Communist Youth League of China.
She added: ‘We realised that we both wanted the kind of love that is depicted in poem “To the Oak Tree” when both sides admire each other but remain independent.
‘We enjoyed being together. [It felt] nature, easy and not coy.’
A conductor organises a curtain before the ‘love train’ departs from Chongqing, carrying hundreds of single men and women
A conductor distributes lunch boxes among passengers who have signed up for the trip in hope of finding their other half
Participants enjoy a 1,000-people banquet during a stopover at an ancient water town during the overnight journey
Miss Yang said she and her new boyfriend were looking forward to improving themselves while complementing each other through a relationship.
It can be hard for young people to find love in China.
To start with, the country has a huge gender gap.
It has been estimated that some 30 million Chinese men would be wifeless over the next 30 years. The phenomenon is caused by the one-child policy, which was abolished in 2016.
Being allowed to have just one child meant that many couples decided to abort their unborn girl in order for a chance to have a boy.
On the other hand, soaring living cost and pressure mean that many young people would rather stay unmarried.
According to latest statistics, the marriage rate hit a decade low last year. Only 7.2 people out of every 1,000 got hitched in China in 2018.