China to Showcase First Smart High-Speed Train at 2022 Winter Olympics
Beginning in early February of 2022, Beijing will be the host city for the Winter Olympic games, one of the largest sporting events in the world.
Hosting the Olympic Games will be a massive test for the infrastructure of Beijing, as millions of tourists will pour in to support their country’s athletes, which puts a significant strain on the local way of life.
When Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics nearly a dozen years ago, one of the largest issues the city faced was the unprecedented amount of traffic that seriously burdened both the city’s inhabitants and the tourists.
Traffic is not a new problem for the citizens of Beijing, as it has consistently been attributed as one of the city’s biggest liabilities, proving to be a serious inconvenience to the citizens as well as contributing to thick smog that dangers the health of everyone in the city and beyond.
However, for the 2022 Olympics, China has invested in thousands of miles of high-speed rail to provide an effective and efficient travel alternative to more cars on the road.
The high speed train connects Beijing to the two other event locations in the neighboring cities of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. Traveling at up to 217 miles per hour, normally 3 hour car ride from Beijing to Zhangjiakou will take only 47 minutes.
While the railway will be extremely effective for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the plan extends much further. China is aiming to to connect every city that has a population of over 500,000 with a system that covers over 24,000 square miles.
With over $550 billion dedicated to the railway system since 2016, China is proving to be the world’s leader in high-speed trains. Currently, construction is taking place to connect Beijing all the way to Inner-Mongolia, with the purpose of connecting two popular tourist destinations as well as fostering economic and social development along the route.
The economic stimulation that occurs from building the railway is significant, but the economic benefit of the railway itself is also a huge upside, as effective and fast transportation allows for places that are smaller stops along the way to benefit from increased and diversified employment opportunities as well as higher real estate prices.
Additionally, the railway provides the added benefit of being eco-friendly, as it emits significantly less carbon per person than single person cars or other public transportation options.
So as the world looks forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing finds itself well prepared to provide an efficient transportation option to fans from across the world. However, the high-speed rail serves a much greater purpose than the Olympics, and will likely be a huge part of world-wide public transportation in the future.
Written by Shaw Rhinelander & Edited by Alexander Fleiss