Jing-Zhang high-speed railway connects Beijing and Zhangjiakou, where the 2022 Winter Olympics Village situates. / Photo via China Railway No.5 Engineering Group
China's new high-speed railway for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games is at a critical stage in construction.
Travel between Beijing and the Winter Olympics Village will take just 50 minutes with the new Jing-Zhang high-speed railway. When completed, the line will be 174 kilometers long, connecting Beijing and the city of Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province. While two other lines which are part of the system will connect the resorts where ski competitions will take place – Yanqing and Chongli – with the Olympic Village.
Due to the extent of the undertaking, the project presents many obstacles. For example, engineers need to tackle how to build the railway bridge over a reservoir without polluting the water.
"To minimize the damage to the environment, the bridge was assembled on land and then was moved into place," said Tao Zhengguo, an engineer from China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group. He has been supervising the construction of the bridge for over two years.
A temporary bridge was built to assist the construction. Mud and waste were all collected and moved away. This 110-meter long bridge is ready for action.
The high-speed railway is being built along a historic railway – China's first railway, designed and built by Chinese pioneer engineer Zhan Tianyou back in 1909.
Ren Zhizhu used to be head of Shacheng Station, one of the stations on old Jing Zhang Railway. Three generations of his family have been working on Jing Zhang Railway. "I am a practitioner, participator and witness of the Jing Zhang Railway," he said. "I believe the new high-speed railway will bring great change to the economy and transport in the region."
Now China has the most advanced high-speed railway system in the world, some might say the best way to honor the country's innovative engineers is by building this high-speed railway track alongside the previous lines.
In Badaling, a mountainous area in northwest Beijing, Chinese engineers are making a daring attempt to build a high-speed railway station, right under the Great Wall.
By going through the mountains, travel time will be cut dramatically. It also makes the famous Badaling section of the Great Wall accessible to attendees of the Winter Olympics.
It is a three-layer complex. The departure section covers an area of six football fields, with a maximum depth of more than 100 meters.
"The concrete we use could last for at least 300 years. And the tunnel will only lower the surface of the ground above it by 14 millimeters," said Dai Longzhen, deputy manage of the Great Wall Station project from China Railway No.5 Engineering Group.
The Jing-Zhang high-speed railway will be operational by 2020. It will not only support the influx of travelers to the Winter Olympics, but also speed up the integration of transportation and further boost the economic development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.