Full steam ahead at China’s Great Wall for the world’s deepest and largest high-speed rail station

Development is designed to protect views of Unesco World Heritage site

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 2:43pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 3:36pm

Chinese developers have started building the world’s deepest and largest underground high-speed railway station at a popular tourist section of the Great Wall ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to state media.

Situated 102 metres below ground, the station will be located at Badaling, which is the most frequently visited section of the Great Wall. It would be three storeys deep and the interior would cover 36,000 square metres, equivalent to the size of five football pitches, Xinhua reported on Monday.

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Developers have tried to anticipate safety concerns by installing a network of emergency exit corridors that allow passengers to be rescued at a depth of 50 metres.

They claim that the underground station can withstand earthquakes of up to magnitude 8.

Pictures of the construction project released by Xinhua showed the station nestled between the surrounding green hills, apparently in an effort to minimise any disruption to views of the Unesco World Heritage site.

Another set of official photos shows workers excavating large holes into deep underground rock in “difficult geological conditions”, according to Phoenix Chinese News.

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The underground station will form part of a 174km high-speed railway line linking the capital with the city of Zhangjiakou in the neighbouring province of Hebei, as part of government efforts to improve transport links between cities in northwest China.