Trains almost ready to roll at Xiong'an station
Time: 13:55: Nov-26, 20     Author :  
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An aerial view of the Xiong'an Railway Station in the Xiong'an New Area, Hebei province, on Monday. ZHANG QUAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Zhang Quan can't wait to come back and see the busy scene at the Xiong'an Railway Station after it's put into use in about a month and take photos to record the moment, although he will no longer be obligated to do so.

The 35-year-old photographer, who works for the railway, came to the Xiong'an New Area in Hebei province in March last year-three months after construction began on the station, the new economic zone's first key infrastructure project.

Xiong'an has been creating a buzz across the nation since it was established in April 2017 because it will play a key role in the integrated development of Beijing, neighboring Tianjin and Hebei itself.

Developing Xiong'an is "a strategy that will have lasting importance for the millennium to come", according to the area's planning outline.

In several years, it will start playing host to non-capital institutions transferred from Beijing, such as universities, enterprise headquarters and medical centers.

The Xiong'an Railway Station where Zhang works is located in the area's Xiongxian county, about 100 kilometers southwest of the capital. He was hired by the station's builder to record the project's progress.

"I don't know how many times I pressed the shutter button on my camera since last year. It's countless," Zhang said, adding that he walked about 5 kilometers each day on average to find different angles to record the appearance of the railway station under construction.

He has selected nearly 100,000 photos and saved them in his computer.

"At first, I took photos of a very large hole in the ground when workers were laying foundations for the station," Zhang said.

The station covers 475,000 square meters, about six times the size of Beijing Railway Station, according to China Railway Construction Engineering Group, which is jointly constructing the station with China Railway 12th Bureau Group.

Zhang said he often held his camera lens down in the beginning, but now he holds it up as the station takes shape.

Looking like a huge silver gray drop of water on a tiled floor, the main structure of Xiong'an Railway Station has been completed and is being decorated.

It's expected to be put into operation by the end of the year, according to the official WeChat account of China State Railway Group Co. It also said the station is the largest along the Beijing-Xiong'an high-speed railway, which is also expected to go into operation by the end of the year.

One of the railway's two sections-between the Beijing West Railway Station and Beijing Daxing International Airport-was put into operation in September last year. Trains can go as fast as 250 kilometers per hour in that section.

The second section, from the Daxing airport to Xiong'an, began trial operations in September. Trains running in that section can travel up to 350 km/h.

"The whole journey from Beijing to Xiong'an will be shortened to less than one hour, which will provide convenience for people living along the line and greatly promote the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei," said Wang Xingyun, Party chief of the Xiong'an Railway Station's project department of China Railway Construction Engineering Group.

In the future, the station will be connected to Tianjin, about 100 km northeast, and Xinzhou in Shanxi province, about 300 km southwest, Wang said.

When the station starts running in about a month, photographer Zhang Quan's work will be complete.

"I will go back to Beijing and continue to shoot movies," he said, adding that it's his first time photographing a whole construction project.

"It's amazing and unbelievable that such a huge project will be finished in two years," he said, adding he has watched the emergence of Xiong'an Railway Station for about 600 days, and he wants to come back when it's full of passengers.

"None of them knows how it changed little by little as I know," Zhang said.

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