Yangtze region high-speed railway projects hit significant milestones

Updated: Jul 26, 2023 By LI JIAYING China Daily Print
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A photo taken by a drone shows the construction site of two railway bridges on the Shanghai-Chongqing-Chengdu High-speed Railway in Jingmen, Hubei province, in May. The HSR is being partly built by China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd. [ZHU JUNBO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Integrated regional development is expected to reach a higher level, as infrastructure construction projects in the Yangtze River Delta region enter a new stage.

Yongkang South Railway Station, situated in the heart of Zhejiang province, stands as a vital transportation nexus for the vibrant delta region. The construction of a rail yard at the station has recently been completed, marking the overall completion of the station's support project and the official opening for regular service, said China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd, a unit of State-owned China Railway Construction Corp and builder of the support project.

Featuring three storage tracks, the rail yard covers an area of 496 square meters with a total building area of nearly 2,000 sq m over four aboveground levels. It is expected to reinforce the regional rail network by storing, sorting, loading and unloading large-size rail vehicles and locomotives, said CR24.

Commenced in September, the project has overcome a series of challenges during efforts to better connect Yongkang — a county-level city — with other regions.

Factors such as safety risks from existing nearby railway lines, complex coordination processes among different departments and most importantly, suspension of work during Spring Festival and COVID-19 resurgences, have all led to some construction challenges and work interruptions.

However, despite a tight schedule and heavy workload, the rail yard was completed in 290 days with high-level standards of safety, quality and efficiency, said the State-owned contractor.

As a key regional transportation hub, Yongkang South Railway Station's support project will not only meet the pressing storage requirements for high-speed trains departing from Yongkang and journeying toward Beijing and southwestern regions, it will also adeptly respond to the burgeoning wanderlust of the local populace.

As first level-3 construction work on a physical barrier was completed on July 12, another important upgrade project in the triangularly shaped megalopolis has seen its official commencement in neighboring Jiangsu province.

Also carried out by CR24, the systematic upgrade project of Nanjing North Railway Station along the Shanghai-Chongqing-Chengdu High-speed Railway aims to optimize the current HSR layout around Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, and improve transport efficiency.

CR24 said the construction barrier prevents work at the site from interfering with adjacent railway lines and expands the construction area, thereby creating more space for culvert extensions and widening.

"We have optimized construction procedures, realized scientific and efficient arrangements for equipment and personnel, and strengthened safety control measures throughout the process," said Huang Jingyi, chief engineer of the upgrade project.

"The smooth completion of the construction barrier has laid a solid foundation for advancing Nanjing North Railway Station's systematic upgrade project in the following steps," Huang said.

Nestled within the country's HSR network, Nanjing North Railway Station will play a pivotal role in interlinking the vast expanse of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. It serves as a crucial node in an all-around HSR network that connects Nanjing with the rest of the country. Upon completion, it will fully unlock development potential from the northern Yangtze River stretches and weave the final threads of the "Eight Horizontal and Eight Vertical" national high-speed railway networks.

The total GDP of the Yangtze River Delta region reached 6.98 trillion yuan ($980 billion) in the first quarter, a remarkable increase of nearly 370 billion yuan compared with the same period a year earlier, accounting for approximately one-fourth of the nation's total GDP, said the National Bureau of Statistics.

Jiang Rui and Chen Xingjian contributed to this story.

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