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High-speed rail set to cut journey times

By Zhang Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-02 09:45
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Workers toil at the construction site of Xiongan Railway Station in Hebei last month. REN SHUANGHUAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

The construction of Xiongan Railway Station as part of a high-speed line linking Beijing and Xiongan New Area is in full swing and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"Once it is fully operational, I will be able to reach downtown Beijing by train in about half an hour, even faster than some commuters in the capital's suburbs," said Wang Xingyun, Party chief of the Xiongan Railway Station Project Department of China Railway Construction Engineering.

Wang was transferred to Xiongan, about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing, from the capital at the end of 2018, when the project started.

At present, it takes about 90 minutes to travel between Beijing and Baigou Railway Station, located in an area neighboring Xiongan, or Baiyangdian Railway Station, which is in the new area.

According to Wang, it will take just 36 minutes to reach Beijing's downtown when Xiongan Railway Station finally becomes fully operational.

In the future, the station will also offer high-speed services to Tianjin, about 100 km to the east, and Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, 160 km to the southwest.

The journeys will take 35 minutes and 48 minutes respectively, according to data provided by the constructor.

"It will be a key transport hub in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and play a key role in helping Xiongan receive Beijing's noncapital functions," Wang said.

The new high-speed railway is the 92-kilometer Beijing-Xiongan intercity line.

A line from Beijing West Railway Station to Daxing International Airport opened in September.

The line will be joined by a new track that will run from Xiongan Railway Station.

When the new line is fully operational, it will have a designed speed of 350 kilometers per hour between the airport in Daxing to Xiongan, which will result in journey times being slashed.

The line is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Xiongan Railway Station, which will cover 475,200 square meters in total, will combine different transfer functions for passengers, according to Yang Shangdong, the engineer in charge of construction.

"When passengers arrive, they will be able to take taxis, buses, subways or other urban railway transit without leaving the station," Yang said.

He added that the station will be one of China's leading rail facilities in terms of its construction technologies, design and functions.

However, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has prevented some workers from returning to their posts, and also hindered deliveries of supplies of some construction materials.

Despite that, about 6,500 people had been assembled as of March 20-more than previously expected-to speed up construction.

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