Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway
A high-speed railway line linking Beijing and Zhangjiakou in North China's Hebei province opens on Monday, significantly cutting the travel time between the two 2022 Winter Olympics hosts and providing an engine to fuel growth, said a senior Zhangjiakou economic planning official.
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway line will spare Beijing businesswoman Yin Yu from having to drive three hours from Beijing to Zhangjiakou's Chongli district to work at her ski equipment business there. The new rail line will cut the travel time to just 47 minutes, China State Railway Group Co said on Saturday.
The 174-km line runs from Beijing North Railway Station, in the capital's Xicheng district, passes through Changping and Yanqing districts, and ends at Zhangjiakou Railway Station. There are 10 stations along the line.
"The high-speed rail line will promote economic and technological communication between the capital and Zhangjiakou, enhancing the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region," said Zhang Zuoyu, an official at Zhangjiakou Development and Reform Bureau, the city's economic planning authority.
Zhang added that since 2015, when China won its bid to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, increasing numbers of business travelers have been coming from the capital. But the trip was not easy because of the slow train.
The high-speed Beijing-Zhangjiakou line is an important part of the rail network between the capital and Lanzhou, in West China's Gansu province, one of the country's eight major East-West high-speed rail lines, China Railway said.
In addition to the high-speed rail link, a feeder line from Xiahuayuan North Station to Chongli district, where most of the 2022 Winter Olympics snow events will be held, will also be in operation on Monday.
The feeder line, named Chongli Railway, is 53 kilometers, running to Taizicheng Railway Station at Chongli Olympic Village, serving mainly the Games and regional tourism development.
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou line has a designed speed of 350 kilometers per hour－it was tested at up to 385 km/h－and the feeder Chongli Railway line will reach 250 km/h, according to China Railway.
More than 30 round-trip trains will run daily on the two lines.
Two other high-speed rail lines－linking Zhangjiakou and Hohhot in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and Zhangjiakou and Datong, Shanxi province－will also open on Monday. Hohhot and Datong both lie west of Zhangjiakou, which is northwest of Beijing.
Yin Yu, who works in Gulou, in Beijing's Dongcheng district, said, "The convenience will rid me of my reluctance to go to Chongli on business trips". She said it takes her about 20 minutes or so to go by taxi to Beijing North Railway Station and hop on a train to Chongli.
Yin's travel cost will also be reduced. In the past, driving round-trip between Beijing and Chongli cost her about 500 yuan ($71).
A second-class seat for the 64-minute trip on the Beijing-Chongli high-speed train will cost only 99 yuan, according to seat-booking platform 12306.com.
Fares for Beijing to Zhangjiakou cost 91 yuan, 146 yuan or 275 yuan, depending on the seat, and other near prices depending on travel time.