Beijing-Zhangjiakou to take 50 minutes
China will complete testing next year of a "smart" high-speed train that will run on a new line linking Beijing and Zhangjiakou, co-hosts of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Construction of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway is underway and on schedule, the China Railway Corporation revealed.
"The overall length of the railway is 174 kilometers, and with speeds reaching 350 kilometers per hour, it will only take about 50 minutes to travel from Beijing to Zhangjiakou," Luo Duhao, chief engineer of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway Line, told the Global Times on Tuesday. It currently takes more than three hours to get from Beijing to Zhangjiakou by train.
Trains on the Olympic line will be based on the Fuxing bullet train design, but new technology will make them smarter and greener.
A prototype of the trains will be manufactured and assembled by the end of this year, said He Huawu, technical adviser to the general manager of China Railway Corporation and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou line is being built with smart technology, and the smart, high-speed trains that will serve the 2022 Winter Olympics are the first unpiloted trains capable of reaching speeds of 350 kilometers per hour. The trains will self-monitor and automatically report to a control center during operations. They will be directed by China's self-made Beidou Navigation Satellite System.
According to a statement sent by China Railway Corporation to the Global Times on Tuesday, even the construction of the railway and the builders of the trains are using new technologies including cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence, to comprehensively improve the quality of the rolling stock, track, operations, management and services.
Luo said the experience gained building this railway will be applied to future railway projects in China.
The old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway is considered historically significant as the line was China's first independently built railway, which opened in 1909.
Focus on environmental protection
The project started in March 2016, and is expected to be operational by 2019.
The railway will run through several environmentally sensitive areas, including the Guanting Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for Beijing.
The Guanting Reservoir Bridge was built without polluting the reservoir, according to video materials released by China Railway Corporation.
The biggest challenge facing the construction team is a 12-kilometer-long tunnel that will run through mountains near the Great Wall at Badaling. Luo told the Global Times that they employed "precision micro-blasting" technology during tunnel building to avoid impacting the Great Wall.
The new technology ensured there was little geological impact and would not affect the Great Wall, Dai Longzhen, deputy manager of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway Line, told the Global Times.
"I stood on the Great Wall and I could not feel the blast at all," Dai added.