Sta­tion to close af­ter 106 years

Con­struc­tion of a new high-speed rail­way is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2019

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHI­NADAILY

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

on Tues­day.

Bei­jingMorn­ing Post.

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.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Stu­dents from Ma­cao, who are study­ing in Bei­jing, take pho­tos at Qinghuayuan Rail­way Sta­tion as their train makes a stop at the sta­tion

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