Asia’s largest passenger railway hub put into operation in Beijing

By Yan Bing, Liu Leyi Source: People’s Daily

Train G601 was waiting on platform No. 32 of the Beijing Fengtai Railway Station, the largest passenger railway hub in Asia, on 7:12 am, June 20. It was the first high-speed train departure after the station just finished a four-year reconstruction.

Zuo Rongfeng bought the first ticket of the train. “I came to the station in 1995. How could I expect that it would become so different some 20 years on,” Zuo said.

At 7:26 am, the train pulled out and headed for Taiyuan city, north China’s Shanxi province.

The completion of the station marked that Beijing has become a city housing seven major railway hubs and two international airports, entering a new era of transportation development.

The reconstruction of the century-old railway station, which was the first railway station in Beijing and was built in 1895, started in September 2018. Four years later, the station has taken on a brand-new look with ancient charm and been put into operation with innovative transportation models and an eco-friendly design.

The renovated station now covers a construction area of nearly 400,000 square meters and is able to accommodate up to 14,000 passengers per hour, said Wang Xiufan, a deputy director with China Railway Beijing Group, adding that the station has 32 rail tracks and 32 passenger platforms.

The Beijing Fengtai Railway Station is China’s first railway station featuring a double-deck structure that serves both high-speed and regular train services. It comes with 24 huge high-density concrete beams that are pressure- and deformation-resistant, which enable it to support a three-storey structure that includes high-speed railway, regular railway and subway.

“The double-deck structure saves the use of land, integrates transportation resources and reduces the cost of urban infrastructure,” said Ma Hui with China Railway Design Corporation, who’s in charge of the company’s reconstruction project for the station.

This unique three-storey structure enables high-speed train passengers and regular train passengers to get on board and leave the station via respective entrances and exits, which makes their trips more convenient, Ma told People’s Daily.

Green and low-carbon design is a major highlight of the railway station. Since the reconstruction project kicked off, the station has vowed to make itself a green structure. The low-carbon concept and green technologies are seen in all aspects of the modern station, from energy and water saving to lower material consumption.

To make full use of natural light, the railway station has installed a number of skylights to ensure sufficient sunlight for its high-speed railway platforms during the daytime, which are located on the top floor. The remaining roof is equipped with photovoltaic panels that generate power for the lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation systems of the station, which are expected to generate over 7 million kWh of green electricity annually.

A specially designed lighting system consisting of over 200 solar tubes on the top floor enables the natural light beaming through the skylights can be brought to the waiting area on the second floor.

According to Xu Hui, chief engineer of the reconstruction project from China Railway Construction Engineering Group, the solar tubes installed are self-cleaning and need no further maintenance. They can save around 950,000 kWh of electricity each year, reducing carbon emissions by more than 900 tons.

Such green philosophy exists in the whole design and construction of the station. The station consumed nearly 200,000 tons of steel. The project team, making innovations in both technology and management, independently developed a steel structure management platform by which the processing, transportation, welding and inspection of the major steel structure are traceable. The platform has improved the raw material utilization rate by one percent, saved 4,700 tons of steel and reduced 8,600 tons of carbon dioxide emission.

Liang Zhaoyu with the Beijing West Railway Station, which administers the Beijing Fengtai Railway Station, told People’s Daily that the operation of the Fengtai Station will further enhance Beijing’s comprehensive transportation services and greatly facilitate people’s travel.

It is of great significance for increasing passengers’ happiness and promoting the capital’s economic and social development, Liang added.

Some services will be transferred to the renovated Fengtai Station from other stations to balance and optimize Beijing’s transportation structure. The new station will further enhance the connection between the capital and other parts of the country.