(ATR) The high-speed rail line connecting the co-host cities of the 2022 Winter Olympics is operational.
The first train left Beijing’s North Railway Station Monday morning for Zhangjiakou in north China’s Hebei Province, according to Xinhua.
The train, with a maximum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), reduces the travel time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou from more than three hours to as little as 47 minutes. There are 10 stations along the 174 kilometer (108 mile) route. The 53km Chongli railway is a branch line of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, with a maximum design speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The terminus of the railway in Zhangjiakou drops passengers alongside the Winter Olympic village and the venues for cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined and biathlon. The freestyle ski and snowboard events at the Secret Garden Ski Resort are a 15-minute drive away.
Yang Yang, a short-track skating Olympic champion and chair of the Athletes' Commission of Beijing 2022, and Olympic speed skating champion Zhang Hong were among the passengers on the inaugural trip of the G8811 train.
The train features 5G signals, wireless charging and intelligent lighting. Three of the eight carriages have lockers for ski equipment and storage areas for oversize luggage.
"The high-speed railway can improve the efficiency of our work, promote China's winter sports industry, and boost the ice and snow economy," Yang Yang said to Xinhua.
Written by Gerard Farek
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