Asia's biggest rail station opens in time for the games
The extraordinary scale of Beijing South Railway Station can only be rivaled by the incredible speed at which its expulsions will travel, with trains leaving the station reaching record speeds of 350kph. And the impecible timing of the completion of the station means that trains can now depart on schedule to take spectators from Beijing to Tianjin Olympic Center, which will host the football preliminaries for the games, in just 30 minutes.
Beijing South Railway Station, designed by Terry Farrell and Partners (TFP), is a station of monolithic proportions covering 940,000 sq m. The roof area is the size of 20 football pitches and includes a 30,000 sq m skylight to maximise natural light within the station. With 24 platforms Beijing South is bigger than the city's Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium.
47 journeys per day will be made from Beijing South to Tianjin during the games and with a peak hour flow of 30,800 passengers, the station is set to reach an annual turnover of 105 million by 2030. In the mean time it is the visitors to Beijing who will reap the benefits of this architectural giant.
Niki May Young