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History of Beijing Railway Station

 

(2016-03-09 11:18:20)

Predecessor Station

The Beijing Railway Station's predecessor was the Zhengyangmen Railway Station,
also called the Beijing Station, which was located 2.5 km (1.6 mi) due west, just
outside Zhengyangmen (also known as Qianmen), a gate in the city wall directly south
of Tiananmen Square. The Zhengyangmen Railway Station was built in 1901 and
served as the terminus of the Kaiping Tramway and Imperial Railways of North China,
also known as the Beijing-Shanhaiguan Railway until 1959 when the station closed
after the opening of the current Beijing Railway Station and has become part of the
China Railway Museum.

Design and construction

To commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of
China, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in 1958 began the
planning and construction of ten large-scale projects, known as the "Ten Great
Buildings" to showcase the new outlook of the country and the Beijing Railway Station
was amongst the projects undertaken.

In late October 1958, according to the early 1950 Beijing municipal government's
construction and planning records, the design arrangements for the new railway
station was commenced. The station's design was assigned to the Ministry of Railway
Institute's third department (now the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group
Co. Ltd) with the station house building chaired by then renowned architects Yang
Tingbao (杨廷宝) and Chen Deng-Ao (陈登鏊), the National Building and Industry
Department and the Nanjing Institute of Architectural Design were to cooperate in the
design tasks. The station's design progressed rapidly and by early December the
same year, the whole design proposal was completed. On December 10, the design
proposal was approved by the Central Committee. The then Premier Zhou Enlai was
also very concerned about the design and construction of the new Beijing Railway
Station, and dealt with aspects concerning the direction and positioning of station
names to the layout of the VIP room environment. In determining the design program
proposal, Zhou Enlai proposed that turrets be built on each of the two wings of the
main building and this suggestion was adopted.

On January 20, 1959 the construction of the new station commenced with the number
of construction workers reaching up to two million people during the peak stage and
project investment amounted to 57.82 million yuan. Soviet Union experts were also
hired to give technical guidance at the construction sites. In just over seven months,
the project was completed on September 10, 1959. The new Beijing Railway Station
covered an area of 250,000 square meters, the Station House Building site covered
an area of 46,700 square meters, the station plaza comprised an area of 40,000
square meters. Chairman Mao Zedong wrote the calligraphic characters in the station
sign.

The Beijing Railway Station was one of the largest construction projects in mainland
China during that time with modern facilities and it was also China's first large
modern railway terminal. At the time of completion, the station had a twelve tracks and
six railway platforms with canopies attached to them. The Station house building
faced south and the architecture included both a Chinese traditional style and the
Soviet Stalinist architecture. The twelve passenger waiting rooms comprised a total
area of 14,000 square meters and was able to accommodate 14,000 waiting
passengers. The inner complex of the Main Station Building contained a passenger
waiting room, mother and child waiting room, movie theater, recreation hall, visitors'
restaurants, post office, clinic and other facilities. Installed on the roof of the Station
House were two marble clock faces and every morning from 7am to 9pm the bell
sounded punctually and "The East Is Red song is played out.

The Beijing station equipment was considered to be relatively advanced at its time
with four AC2-59 type escalators installed in the interior; the joint design and
production of the escalators were coordinated by the Shanghai Jiaotong University
and Shanghai Elevator Company. The four sets of escalators were replaced during
the 1980 and again during 1990; the most recent replacement of the elevators
occurred in early 2005 - the design being a product of Otis Company.

Operation

After the completion of the new Beijing Railway Station, its transport capacity far
exceeded the formerly used East Railway Station and it played an increasing role in
heavy transport tasks, and today it is still Beijing's most important Passenger Railway
Station, and has the largest station traffic in China. The number of trains and traffic
has also increased year by year: In 1959 there were 33 train lines; in 1966 there were
40 train lines; in 1978 there were 61 train lines; in 1985 there were 78 train lines; and
by 1993 there were 82 train lines. During the late 1950s, the amount of passengers
using the railway transportation system were six million people a year, in the late
1960s it was eight million people a year, in the late 1970s it reached 15 million a year,
and after the Chinese economic reform period, the usage soared to more than 30
million people. To alleviate the transport pressure on the Beijing Railway Station, the
Beijing Municipal Government and the Ministry of Railways in 1980 started the
planning and construction of Beijing's second passenger station and hence the
Beijing West Railway Station was completed in 1996, which provided transportation
links for the Beijing-Kowloon Line and the Beijing-Guangzhou Line and helped
alleviate pressure on the Beijing Railway Station - this led to a reduction in passenger
traffic for the Beijing Railway Station to 20 million people.

Since 1976, the Beijing Railway Station had begun a series of upgrades to the
passenger service facilities, for example a computer system had been set up for
processing tickets, a TV monitoring screen, wireless communication, automatic
broadcasting system, and extensions made to the railway platform expanded its
length from 497 to 603 meters in order to meet the needs of the expanding
transportation flow. In 1988, the Shanghai Electric Clock Factory installed China's first
large screen display system in the Beijing Railway Station Square. Between May 1998
and September 1999, the Ministry of Railways implemented a seismic strengthening
project to the Beijing Railway Station and also introduced new passenger features
such as a central air conditioning system, passenger guidance system, multi-
functional radio broadcasting system. Since June 18, 2003, the Beijing Railway
Station began an expansion of two new sites, comprising an area of 20,513 square
meters and includes a specialized large parcel luggage line, renovations included the
removal of the concrete canopy, alterations to the steel arch station pole, and
alterations to the original site raised it from 1 to 1.2 meters,.

In June 2008, in order to meet the needs of the Beijing Olympic Games, bilingual
signs were created at the Beijing Railway Station to facilitate an overall increase in
foreign tourists travelling to the games, in addition to putting up the "Beijing Railway
Station", several other signs were also erected at station entrances, exits and ticket
booths.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

 

 

 

by:Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

 

 

 

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