Station to close after 106 years
Construction of a new high-speed railway is expected to be completed in 2019
Trains will stop at a 106year-old station in Beijing for the final time onMonday next week before the tracks are torn up to make way for a high-speed rail link.
The buildings at Qinghuayuan Railway Station will remain as a memorial, but the lines will be removed to allow the construction of a tunnel for the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Originally built in 1910, the station was the first stop out of Xizhimen (now Beijing North Railway Station) on the old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, the first line to be designed and constructed entirely by Chinese engineers.
The station was rebuilt in the 1950s due to a slight change in the rail route. The original buildings now lie deep within a residential community and are listed as cultural relics.
At its peak, between the 1960s and 1980s, Qinghuayuan handled about 60 freight and passenger trains daily.
“I was so exhausted, I could barely ridemy bike back tomy dormitory,” Li Xiangdong, 59, a former station worker, recalled in an interview with
Residents have been lining up to buy tickets to ride the final trains to pass through the station, as well as taking photos, with tickets for services on Monday said to be sold out.
“I’mnot even sure if I’ll actually take the train,” said Sun Jun, a man in his 40s who bought two tickets for the train on Oct 30. “But I’m absolutely certain that I want to have something as memorabilia.”
Hu Jianwei, who has also bought tickets, said: “Although I’m from Beijing, I’ve never taken trains from this station. Sometimes, people only begin to cherish things when they’re gone.”
Others see a silver lining, such as Gan Lin, a train enthusiast from Beijing.
“It’s a pity the tracks will go. After all, it was the first stop for Chairman Mao when he arrived in Beijing,” he said, referring to whenMao Zedong arrived at Qinghuayuan in 1949 as the Communist Party of China moved its headquarters to the capital.
“On the bright side, the traffic will be much better without the trains coming and going,” Gan added.
About 30 trains now travel through Qinghuayuan daily, which creates congestion at road crossings in the surrounding suburbs. The highspeed railway will be built underground and it is expected to be completed in 2019.
Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games last year. According to the proposal, most snow events will be held in the city of Zhangjiakou, about 200 kilometers northwest of the capital.
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway will shorten the travel time between the two cities to less than an hour.
Students from Macao, who are studying in Beijing, take photos at Qinghuayuan Railway Station as their train makes a stop at the station