China wants to make the Great Wall even “greater” with a plan to build the world’s largest high-speed railway station beneath it.
The initiative will be part of the initially planned 174-kilometer high-speed railway the country intends to use for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The system is set to bridge Beijing with Zhangjiakou, the site of the Olympic games, reported China Daily (via Shanghaiist).
Among the stops in the long trip is a planned cavernous underground station in Badaling, the most visited site along the Great Wall.
Project director Chen Bin told China Daily that passengers who would choose to drop off from the stop will emerge inside a three-level structure, with separate floors for arrival and departure and two escalators to carry them up 62 meters.
“The Badaling station will be located 102 meters below the surface, with an underground construction area of 36,000 square meters, equal to five standard soccer fields, making it the deepest and largest high-speed railway station in the world,” Chen said.
The Badaling Station will be under the supervision of its chief engineer, Luo Duhao, who assured China Daily in an interview that workers will be using “some of the world’s [most] advanced explosion technologies to guarantee it would not affect the Great Wall.”
The new railway system, which is set to be completed by 2019, will have a max speed of 350 km/h, or about 217 mph. Such speed will enable passengers from Beijing North Station to get to Zhangjiakou in less than an hour.