Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway set to cut travel time to 1 hour
With the last steel rail laid yesterday in a tunnel underground Tsinghua University in Beijing, the track of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway is complete.
The original railway linking the two cities was put into operation in 1909. It was known as China’s first independently designed and built railway.
Now, with a designed speed of 350km per hour, the 174-kilometer-long new track will shorten the travel time between the national capital and the city in neighboring Hebei Province to one hour.
This will both facilitate inter-city traffic and be crucial for the co-host of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Ten tunnels have been built.
The first underground passage is located 270 meters away from the railway’s terminal of the Beijing North Railway Station in Haidian District. Named “Tsinghua Campus Tunnel,” the 6,020-meter-long underground design avoids ground traffic on the capital city’s Third Ring Road.
The underground pass intersects with Beijing Metro lines 10, 15 and 12 and runs parallel to Line 13. It also passes through seven major urban roads and nearly 90 major municipal pipelines.
“In such a complex environment, shield construction of such a large scale requires an error rate within 1 millimeter,” said Zhao Bin, shield manager for the tunnel project.
Li Hongxia, general director of intelligent engineering design, said intelligent technology for high-precision services needs to be used in the whole process of construction, operation, train dispatching, maintenance and emergency response.
“The railway will share ‘one brain’ for comprehensive command of operations, station lighting, temperature and humidity in a control room,” he said.
Trains can basically run on the line in the same autopiloting mode as metro trains.
Wang Dongfang, China Railway Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway signal design director, added: “This will be the first time in the world that the driverless system can enable railway trains to run at the speed of 350km per hour on the line.”
Zhang Shijie, director of the roadbed project of the railway, said: “In the 1980s, it took me six or seven hours from my hometown in Zhangjiakou to Beijing. Now it takes me three hours. When the high-speed railway starts service, it will just take an hour.”