A High Speed Rail (HSR) service is now in operation between two of China’s largest railway stations: Guangzhou South Railway Station and Beijing South Station. Global practice TFP Farrells acted as lead international design consultants at both stations and today recognised this major achievement with a statement from the company’s Director, Gavin Erasmus, who said: “TFP Farrells is proud to have played a part in China’s endeavour and to now see the historic completion of the world’s longest High Speed Rail line is a truly incredible achievement.”
As stated by Erasmus, China is now home to the world’s longest HSR at 9,300km, which officially opened on Christmas Day 2012 (25 December). The direct route from Beijing to Guangzhou is approximately 2,300km with tickets costing 865Yuan for this particular journey. Prior to the completion of the HSR, a journey from Beijing to Guangzhou would take around 20 hours but this has now been reduced to 8 hours. The HSR project was funded by the Chinese Government who invested around 400bn Yuan into the scheme, seeing it through seven years of construction.
The Beijing South Station was completed back in August 2008 by TFP Farrells. Designed to handle 286,500 passengers on a daily basis, it is the second largest railway station in China and integrates a multi-modal transport interchange facility with a vertical separation strategy designed to make passenger flows direct, convenient and highly efficient.
Guangzhou South Railway Station is the largest station in Asia and is also designed by TFP Farrells, located at the other end of the HSR. The 495,900 sq m complex was completed in 2010 and serves a catchment area of more than 300 million people. One of China’s key economic hubs, Guangzhou is developing at a rapid pace and this significant new development is an intrinsic factor in the smooth operation of the city. Located at the heart of the Pearl River Delta region, the station is arranged into 28 elevated island platforms with 3 underground metro lines over 6 levels.
Li Haihong reviewed the newly-launched HSR line for The Global Times and writes: “Last week I had my first experience on this train when I travelled from Beijing to Guangzhou. It’s clean, quiet, provides free WiFi, entertainment programs, and more choices of food. The staff wear nicer uniforms and offer better services. These rail lines have become the symbol of China’s independent high-technology innovation and triggered a strong sense of national pride. Many ordinary people, me included, have been happy and proud to be the first passengers to experience the Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed rail.”