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South station on track to impress
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09:41, July 24, 2008

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Massive glass-screen walls serve as its walls and roofs, while towering pillars at the center of the hall immediately draw the attention of visitors.

Short of a runway outside, the new Beijing South railway station could pass off for any major international airport.

Already, the station promises to be the largest of its kind in Asia once it starts operations on Aug 1, railway officials have said.

"The station covers 322,000 sq m, larger than the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, which is 258,000 sq m," said Zheng Jian, deputy chief engineer with the Ministry of Railways.

The new station used 60,000 tons of steel and 490,000 sq m of concrete. More than 4,000 people have worked on the egg-shaped structure at the same time, Zheng said. A smaller oval within the main structure serves as the main hall of the station. There are 3,246 solar panels placed on its roof to reduce power usage.

The Beijing South Station sports 24 platforms, ready for the high-speed trains plying the coming Beijing-Tianjin and Beijing-Shanghai lines.

As the station is designed to serve rails for the country's prosperous east coast, it is expected to attract the most attention.

The new station's designers also made plans to connect it with two subway lines - Line 4 and Line 14. The station is expected to serve at least 50,000 passengers a day.

And by year end, with the reopening of the Beijing North railway station, the city's four railway stations will be work together to boost rail travel in and out of the capital, Zheng said.

Source: China Daily

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