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Badaling Great Wall Station: The deepest high-speed rail station in the world

(CNN) – With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics fast approaching, the world’s first self-driving bullet train has entered service, transporting athletes and officials between the two main host cities. fight on Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway History.

The fact that this bullet train can drive itself is remarkable enough. But during the 56-minute ride, it passes another engineering wonder: Badaling Great Wall Station.

Completed in 2019, the station is located a short distance from the entrance to Badaling, the most famous part of the centuries-old wall. To protect the iconic monument from structural damage, the railway line and its accompanying station were built deep underground.

Conservation of the Great Wall of China

Badaling Great Wall Station is the deepest high-speed rail station in the world.

Badaling Great Wall Station is the deepest high-speed rail station in the world.

Ren Chao / Xinhua / Getty Images

Buried 102 meters (335 feet) below ground and covering more than 36,000 square meters, the three-story structure is said to be the world’s largest and deepest underground high-speed rail station.

Construction of such a complex station, involving a system of tunnels 12 kilometers (7.45 mi), is under one UNESCO World Heritage Site website is not an easy feat.

According to Chinese state media, engineers used an electronic explosive device to determine the exact timing of the explosive down to milliseconds. This is the first time this technology has been used in China and allows workers to maintain vibration speeds below 0.2 cm/s.

That means every explosion is precisely calculated to ensure the impact won’t be stronger than a footstep on the Great Wall.

Care must be taken to ensure that construction will not damage the Great Wall.

Care must be taken to ensure that construction will not damage the Great Wall.

Alamy

Starting in 2016, the construction of the tunnel and the station took about three years to complete.

The high-speed rail line shortens the journey from China’s capital to the Great Wall from about 1.5 hours – traffic congestion can make it longer – to about 27 minutes.

The station is a few minutes from the Great Wall of China Cable Car Station and about 800 meters (0.5 miles) from the start of the Great Wall. It is also home to China’s second longest escalator, 88 meters long and 42 meters high.

Badaling Great Wall Station is part of the 108-mile Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway.

Badaling Great Wall Station is part of the 108-mile Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway.

Zhang Chenlin / Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images

Due to the distance to the platform, the station gate closes for ticket holders 12 minutes before the last train departs, instead of the usual five minutes at other stations in China, to ensure that passengers have enough time to carry through the major station.

Will the Great Wall of China appear at the Winter Olympics?

While there won’t be any Olympic sporting events anywhere near the Badaling Wall, it will be part of the torch relay, which runs from February 2-4.

As a result, the station, as well as the Badaling portion of the wall, was closed on February 2 and 3.

Badaling Station is 800 meters from the public entrance of the Great Wall.

Badaling Station is 800 meters from the public entrance of the Great Wall.

Ju Huanzong / Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images

Badaling is not the only part of the Great Wall that will appear on TV screens as part of the Winter Olympics ceremonies.

Chongqing and Yanqing districts, two areas where the Winter Olympics were held, are also home to ancient barricades.

Several races at the National Ski Jump Center in Chongli are almost 20 m from the Great Wallprovides a historical setting for skiers competing in the games.

High-speed rail for the Winter Olympics

On one side are daily PCR tests, food service robots and isolated athletes. Otherwise, there is no access to Olympic events for spectators or family members. CNN’s Selina Wang and David Culver report from both sides of the Beijing Olympics bubble.

The 108-mile Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway is served by a new Fuxing high-speed electric train (EMU) developed and operated by the China State Railway Corporation.

Announced in early January, it can run up to 350 kilometers (or 217 miles) per hour and cut travel time between two of the main Olympic host cities from three hours to 56 minutes.

Although the bullet train is self-driving, the driver of the train is always present on the train. Trains can automatically start, stop, and adjust different speed limits between stations.

The train’s eight carriages are equipped with 5G signals, smart lights and 2,718 sensors to collect real-time data and detect any anomalies in the operation.
The new Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed train passes through the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall on January 25, 2022.

The new Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed train passes through the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall on January 25, 2022.

Jia Tianyong / China News Service / Getty Images

These special carriages are designed with the needs of athletes in mind. For example, some cabins have a larger storage area for winter sports equipment, which can be accessed with a QR code.

In addition to the main railway, there are two branches, Yanqing and Chongli, connecting authorized passengers to two key Winter Olympics villages.

A 55-day closed-loop management system, starting January 21, has been implemented so that those arriving at the Olympic Games do not share a train car with other passengers on the route. (Read more about Beijing’s ambitious Olympic “bubble” here.)

Top image: An escalator inside Badaling Train station. Credit: Peng Ziyang / Xinhua / Alamy

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