Beijing: China, which already has the world’s longest bullet train network, is now set to build the deepest ever high-speed rail station under the site of its most famous construction marvel – the Great Wall of China.
A bullet train – or high speed rail, as it is known in China – line will run right under the Great Wall, connecting Beijing with the city of Zhangjiakou in nearby Hebei province which will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
A station along this line will be build 102 metres underground at Badaling – the famed tourist spot outside Beijing where thousands line up every day to climb the Great Wall of China.
“The Badaling station will be located 102 meters below the surface, with an underground construction area of 36,000 square meters, equal to five standard soccer fields, making it the deepest and largest high-speed railway station in the world,” Chen Bin, director in charge of construction for China Railway No 5 Engineering Group, was quoted as saying by State media.
He said the underground station will have “three floors, separate levels for arriving and departing passengers-similar to airports-and two escalators with vertical heights of 62 meters, the highest in the country.”
China’s bullet train network is the world’s longest. In September, it crossed 20,000 km. Trains run at 300 km/h on an entirely separate track dedicated to bullet trains, running separate from the national rail network used for other trains as well as freight.
China has invested billions into building the network, an investment it will not recoup for some time, although the Beijing-Shanghai bullet train line, which connects two cities that are 1,318 km apart in four and a half hours – about the same distance that separates New Delhi and Mumbai – is turning in record profits and has forced airlines to slash fares.
The new Beijing-Zhangjiakou line, stretching under 200 km, will be finished by end-2019. The line will have 10 stations and cut through mountains and sensitive sites such as the Great Wall. The station that will be built at the Great Wall will be among China’s most challenging projects, railway officials said.
“It will run through mountains where the Great Wall is winding, so we adopted some of the world’s advanced explosion technologies to guarantee it would not affect the Great Wall,” Luo Duhao, chief engineer of the railway group for the Badaling section, told State media.