As if the Great Wall wasn’t already great enough, in a few years, it will also feature the world’s deepest and largest high-speed railway station.
The ambitious plan is just one part of a 174-kilometer high-speed railway that will connect Beijing with Zhangjiakou in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Along the way to the Olympic facilities in Zhangjiakou, passengers will be able to stop off at Badaling, the most visited section of the Great Wall, 80 kilometers from Beijing.
Upon departing from the train, they will step into a cavernous underground station with three floors, including separate levels for arriving and departing, plus two escalators that will take them up 62 meters, Chen Bin, the director of the project, told China Daily.
“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 said.
The new railway itself is expected to be completed by 2019. While 500 km/h trains are reportedly under development, this high-speed rail line will have a max speed of 350 km/h, taking commuters from Beijing North Station to the Olympic venues at Zhangjiakou in just 50 minutes, where hopefully they will find snow.
There are 10 stations on the line, but Badaling Station will be the most challenging by far, located inside a jagged mountain range and under one of the world’s greatest ancient wonders. For those worrying what this might mean for that historic marvel, Luo Duhao, the chief engineer on the Badaling section, assured China Daily that workers will be using “some of the world’s [most] advanced explosion technologies to guarantee it would not affect the Great Wall.”
So, that’s a relief.
But really, wouldn’t the most efficient transportation option be to just pave over the whole thing?
[Images via China Daily]