A new driverless bullet train connecting the Chinese cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou is capable of reaching a top speed of up to 217 mph (350 km / h), making it the fastest autonomous train in the world in operation.
The new service, launched in preparation for the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022, will reduce travel time between the capital and Zhangjiakou, which will host most ski events, from three hours to less than one. Some trains will complete the 108 Mile Routein 45 minutes. The original Beijing-Zhangjiakou line opened in 1909, when the same journey took about eight hours.
Trains will start and stop at stations automatically at a precise time and change speed depending on boundaries between stations. However, a monitoring attendant will still be on board in case of emergencies.
The line, also known as the Jingzhang Intercity Railway, took four years to complete and has 10 stations, including Badaling Changcheng, for access to the Great Wall of China. The first train started operating on December 30, running from Beijing to Taizicheng, which will also host some Olympic ski events and is the Olympic Village's closet station.
"Smart" stand-alone train cabins have large storage areas for winter sports equipment, seats with 5G touchscreen control panels, intelligent lighting, thousands of real-time safety sensors and removable wheelchair passenger seats. Face recognition technology and robots will be used at stations to assist with paperwork, baggage check-in and orientation.
Zhangjiakou in northern Hebei province will receive snowboarding, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing and ski jumping at the Games. Another major Olympic host of the new line is Yanqing, where alpine skiing, sledding, skeleton and luge events will take place. Skating, curling, ice hockey and freestyle skiing will be held in the capital.
China's vast high-speed rail network spans nearly 22,000 miles and includes the fastest commercially operating train, the Shanghai Maglev, capable of a speed of 268 mph.
"As we discuss HS2, China has created a national high-speed network," says rail expert Mark Smith of the site. the man in the seat 61 local network. "China's high-speed lines are relentlessly efficient – once booked, simply swipe your ID card or passport at the ticket gates"
As the official high-speed train reservation website (12306 China Railway) can only be used by Chinese citizens, Smith recommends the use of china-diy-travel.com To book: You must list the new route soon. In the meantime, he suggests trip.com Alternatively, it currently lists prices around £ 9 each way.
Smith also recommends a slower panoramic train as a one-way option: “You may prefer to return on one of the S2 trains. Imperial Peking-Kalgan Railway, built in 1905-1909 and designed by the father of Chinese Railways. Zhan Tianyou. The new high-speed line goes underground near the Great Wall, while the classic route goes overland along the Guan Valley, with great views of the Wall on the way. "
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