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'I've Liked Trains Since I Was a Child'

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Yelena Lysenko-Saltykova, assistant train driver at the Central Suburban Passenger Company

In honour of Moscow Transport Day, we interviewed some real heroes — the people who drive us around every day, who help make our capital the best city on Earth.

How long have you been working here? Why did you choose this profession?

I've been working at the Central Suburban Passenger Company for two years. My whole family works in the transport sector, albeit in aviation. I was also planning on becoming a pilot. But there was a children's railway next to our house. I started going to classes there and eventually changed my mind. I've liked trains ever since I was a child. Actually, I've liked transport in general: planes, ships... But only civil ones, not military. I loved train rides as a child—the smell of creosote drove me crazy. I even had a railway sleeper at home, or rather a piece of one. At the age of 14, I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to railways.

Have there been any interesting or funny situations involving your job or your passengers?

There are funny situations every day since the driver and I turned out to be a good team and we always take everything with good humour. Most of our jokes are connected to our professional slang, which only makes sense in our professional environment. Passengers often show their interest when they see me. Recently, when I was making my way through the train, an elderly man said to me: 'Well done, keep it up!' It was very sweet and surprising to know that people might already know me from the news and want to support me.

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In your opinion, what place in Moscow should everyone—tourists and locals alike—visit?

I would definitely recommend visiting Tsaritsyno Park and going deep into the reserve itself. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful place in Moscow. In general, I prefer to relax in forests and among nature.

Do you have any favourite spots in the city that you can see while you're at work?

The most beautiful place I see at work is my beloved Kievsky Railway Station. It's just wonderful. I also like the station square with its fountain, streetlights and, of course, the platform. I just love setting off from there.

If Moscow was a vehicle, what kind of vehicle would it be?

Considering that Moscow is a very large city—truly gigantic both in area and scale—I wouldn't compare it to a single vehicle, but to an entire project: the Moscow Central Diameters. Just like Moscow, they're global, full of potential and open up a world of opportunities for their passengers.

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