Those who follow David Feng on Twitter get an incomprehensible hotchpotch in many languages, and also sees a lot of photos and videos of Chinese trains and stations.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland; 02 Jun 2018; original interview done in German)
The speed on the display continues to go up. Outside the window, skyscrapers and fields of corn pass us. “Look, here we go.” 353 kilometres per hour. “We are in China… heavens!… a train should not go so fast! And yet it feels like we’re already in the 22nd century!…”
La Repubblica (Italy; 01 Sep 2018; original interview done in Italian)
David Feng is one of the most trusted, authoritative, and independent voices of China’s national railway and HSR networks, as well as the metro networks of the country. As a Swiss, he also takes an interest in developments closer to home, including the New Railway Link Through the Alps. He has been featured continuously in Chinese and international media since 2008.
Be it at the radio station, onboard a train, or somewhere near a station, David Feng’s rail-related interviews have been conducted with media the world over, in all the main Swiss national languages (German, French, Italian) as well as English and Chinese. He also at times pens articles which are published by the mass media. All of his views are completely independent and he does not speak on behalf of any Swiss or alien rail authority.
The following extracts from national and international media form only a small part of all interviews granted. All interviews in a language other than English have been professionally translated.
On Railway Development
- Feng also took a look into the future of Beijing, as it and the nearby city of Zhangjiakou, formerly known as Kalgan, get set to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics […] With two-thirds of the world’s HSR tracks on Chinese soil, it’d be impossible not to look at China’s massive HSR project. This network, already huge at 11,875 miles (19,000 km), will get even bigger by 2020, when it hits nearly 19,000 miles (or more “precisely” in kilometres, a grand total of 30,000 km). Beijing is doubling its three HSR line network by introducing new links to Zhangjiakou, Shenyang (formerly known as Mukden), and Tangshan.
— London Transport Museum Friends Magazine (2016)
- As of August 2012, China had laid 12,000 kilometers of High Speed Rail (HSR) track, investing billions of yuan in a state of the art train network, with train top speeds of 350km/h […] Like David, many people are replacing air travel with the convenience of HSR trips. China is showing what is really possible with the latest technology and some government capital!
— University of Melbourne website citing Beyond Zero Emissions (Australia) (28 August 2012)
- David Feng mentioned in particular that HSR should develop with the future in mind. Citizens of Western China are entitled to the same HSR service as those in Eastern China. It is futile and detrimental to future development where some lines are being set lower standards in an attempt to save less than 5% of construction costs.
— The Observer (China; 07 March 2013)
On Railway Operations
- “I’m objective. I’m outside [of the railway system] so I’m more neutral. We have to criticise what’s wrong, but also shower praise upon what’s right.” On 14 March, the structural reform package of the railways were finalised, and David Feng’s list of 100 recommendations for the railways were also made public. “I care about 5 different aspects of the railways — ticketing, operations, planning, international business, and rail culture; there are 20 suggestions in each of them […] Reforming the railways is something big, so we need voices from everyone, but we also need to know which ones are real versus fake. Railway people need to be clear of what they are doing with a leading force.”
— New Financial Observer (China; 17 March 2013)
- David Feng […] explained that the Chinese Spring Festival peak travel season is unique, having very few equals in the world. The real Chinese New Year starts in the old lunar year, all the way through the first day of the new, into the Lantern Festival, eclipsing the equivalents of Thanksgiving and Christmas overseas, so more people are on the go. China also has a well-developed railway network, whereas in the US, people would tend to drive or fly home.
— Xinhua News Agency (27 January 2014)
- Anyone who needs to get around China, dislikes air travel, or loves trains, must be quite excited about China’s burgeoning high-speed rail network. (Although, perhaps, nobody can be more excited than David Feng.) […] The goals of the network remain noble: to conveniently connect all regions of the country quickly and efficiently.
— The Nanfang (06 July 2011)
On New Lines
- At 15:00 on 30 June, the first trains on the Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway will leave Beijing South Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. David Feng, a Beijing-born Swiss citizen, was the first foreign national to purchase a Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail ticket. Cable News Network (CNN) from the United States said that the Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway will span 7 provinces in eastern China, which has a quarter of China’s population and 40% of the nation’s GDP. David Feng broadcasted live his journey via Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo.
— Chinese media (04 July 2011) — summary of national and international media upon the opening of the Beijing-Shanghai HSR
- Noted rail enthusiast David Feng was busy taking pictures onboard the newly-upgraded CRH380B train, fit for cold temperatures. As a Beijing born rail regular who grew up in Switzerland, he’s been onboard trains in dozens of countries. The usually busy [Lecturer] […] came here today just for a new record, as he told us: “I’ve now travelled on all HSR services on tracks managed by Beijing Rail”.
— People’s Railway Daily (02 December 2013) (First trip on Tianjin-Qinhuangdao HSR)
- The rail trip yesterday had a rail enthusiast with a lot of travel stories join the pack — David Feng, a Swiss of Chinese origins. Having travelled across 20 countries and by rail, he recounts the Xiangtang-Putian Railway as one of most beautiful rail lines — bringing back memories of Swiss sceneries.
— Jiangnan Metropolitan Daily (“Public beta” trip on Xiangtang-Putian Railway)
On Bilingual Rail Services
- Dr David Feng’s Everyday Rail English posts on Weibo have made him very well-known across the national railway network, as well as all over China. During the Summer Peak Travel Period, with the increase of passengers from abroad, David Feng, who remains popular and loved by rail crew, was invited to Harbin to train staff in everyday expressions in English.
— Xinhua Heilongjiang (06 August 2013)
- With such awkward mistranslations — such as “artificial ticket office” for a staffed ticket office, or “stop mouth” indicating a station entrance — […] David Feng decided to, by way of his Everyday Rail English campaign, eradicate such errors. In the past three months or so, the most awkward Chinglish mistranslations, indeed, have been tackled and corrected — one by one — by the railway authorities.
— Guangzhou Daily (23 April 2013)
- No sooner had Everyday Rail English been launched than there was a lot of attention on this very topic. Many members of rail crew are actively part of this topic as well. Official Weibo accounts, including those from Beijing South station, have connected with David in support. From Heilongjiang to Guangdong, and from Yunnan to Shanghai, hundreds of official rail accounts have joined David in perfecting rail English.
— China Civics website (27 August 2013)
On Rail Travel Experience
- David Feng is an avid traveler, especially on trains. David has taken to the rails since he was a kid and has clocked in more than 45,000 km to around 20 Chinese provinces in the past four years. He has rode on “standing room only” trains, attempted naps both in hard sleeper and lie-flat Business Class deluxe seats, and has been fed well by the dining cars on train and restaurants in stations.
— CNNgo (2011)
- “Right now I’d choose high speed trains if I wanted to travel around China,” said David Feng, stating that high speed trains were more comfortable than planes, as well as being able to avoid delays. Some time back, David and his wife travelled around China for a leisurely 7-day trip, visiting Beijing, […] Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. “We travelled by high speed rail, and it was really convenient; there was no rush at all,” he said, sharing also a few nice pictures.
— China Western Web (17 October 2012)
- David Feng will continue travelling by train, with his rail mileage statistics on his website constantly updated. “My journeys will continue anywhere there’s a railway track headed to some place.”
— Beijing Daily (27 August 2013)