Hunan high-speed railway gets major boost
The construction of a high-speed railway in Central China's Hunan province got a major boost when the first cement-and-steel box girder was installed on Zhangjiashan Bridge, helping to ensure the line will officially run by the end of 2021.
The 816-metric-ton box girder was successfully put in place to link the first two piers of the bridge, part of the Zhangjiajie-Jishou-Huaihua High-Speed Railway, which kicked off its construction on Dec 18, 2016 with an investment of 39 billion yuan ($5.6 billion). The train will run at 350 kilometers per hour.
The 247.5-km long railway linking the top-rated Wulingyuan scenic spot in Zhangjiajie city in the north and Huaihua city in the south is expected to help boost tourism in northwestern Hunan when it goes into operation.
The 32-meter long, 12.2-meter wide box girder was prefabricated by the First Division Co of China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co Ltd in a precasting yard in Zhangjiajie, said Fang Taiping, an official of the division in the company.
He said the Yongding yard will precast 221 double-line box girders, which are either 24 or 32 meters long, in a bid to fulfill their task in building tunnels, roadbeds, bridges and railway stations.
The yard's modern digital technology and scientific management will help to safeguard the top quality of all box girders, Fang said.
Upon completion, the high-speed railway will help improve the north-south railway transportation in central and western China, he said.
"From now on, the building of the railway line will turn to the superstructures, as all the foundations on the ground have been laid," Fang said.
Song Heng, chief of cyberspace at CTCE, said building the railway is extremely difficult as it needs to pass through mountain ranges and basins that have complex geologic structures with varied topography and landforms.
The whole line will have eight railway stations, 186 bridges and 124 tunnels, he said, adding that it can join three other railways in Zhangjiajie. It will also join the Sichuan-Hunan Railway in Jishou, another railway in Fenghuang station, and link two other railways in Huaihua.
The Zhangjiajie-Jishou-Huaihua railway will be later extended from Huaihua to Guilin, a city popular with sightseers in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Song said.
"By then, the whole railway will become a boutique tourist route linking Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang and Guilin, all top scenic spots in China," he said.
The whole railway is also part of the country's national precision poverty alleviation strategy as it will link eight counties, county-level cities and districts in three cities in western Hunan, helping to promote economic takeoff in areas hit by poverty, Song noted.