Months of work to finish opened station

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 July, 2011, 12:00am


Travellers arriving at Nanjing South railway station are greeted by the hammer of pneumatic drills, the shrill squeal of cutting tools and the sharp tang of cement dust in the air.

Building work at the massive new station - purportedly the biggest transport hub in Asia - is far from finished, over a week after its opening.

Vast piles of excavated earth covered with black tarpaulins flank the station, on the southern outskirts of the former capital, while teams of workers scurry around trying to patch up unfinished jobs.

But what has really riled locals and some internet users is that many of the workers are tearing up huge areas of granite paving hastily laid to give the project the appearance of completion for its opening, two days ahead of the high-profile launch of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail service last Friday.

The station has three wide arrivals corridors, but only the central one looked to have been given its final flooring yesterday afternoon, while the two flanking areas had been half-stripped of flooring, with many of the slabs still in place having come loose. Large sections of the plaza outside were also being refitted.

'We have to take up most of this pavement, almost the whole plaza,' said one labourer. 'It was just thrown down too quickly to make it in time for the opening ceremony.'

Construction workers re-laying the pavement said they did not expect to be putting the final touches to the building for quite some time.

'The departures area on the upper level is finished but this lower section is a long way from being complete,' one said. 'We have so much work still to do, we will be lucky to be finished in under a year.'

Although most of the unfinished work appeared relatively superficial, the public toilets in the arrivals hall were unfinished, water dripped from the ceiling and builders were still fitting air-conditioning ducts.

Work had only just begun to fit lighting and other fittings to the ceiling of the station's bus stop.

In the departures hall, a few areas of polished flooring were cordoned off with cones and coloured bunting.

The Shanghai Railway Bureau could not be reached for comment.