Harbin–Qiqihar intercity railway
|Harbin–Qiqihar intercity railway|
|Operator(s)||China Railway High-speed|
|Line length||281.5 km (175 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Operating speed||250 km/h (155 mph)|
Harbin–Qiqihar intercity railway, also known as Ha Qi passenger-dedicated line (PDL), is the China’s most northerly high-speed railway. It opened for revenue service on 17 August 2015, connecting the two principal cities in Heilongjiang province, Harbin and Qiqihar.
Operating at up to 250 km/h, the high-speed trains have cut the fastest journey time between the cities from 3 h to 85 min. Under construction since 2009, the 286 km line has intermediate stations at Harbin Bei, Zhaodong, Anda, Daqing Dong, Daqing Xi and Taikang. It is expected to carry around 8 million passengers a year.
The route is operated with a fleet of 28 CRH5A trainsets which have been modified to cope with the region’s severe winter conditions, where temperatures can fall as low as -40°C. Average temperatures for January are reported to be -19·2°C in Qiqihar and -18·3°C in Harbin.
The railway begins at Harbin Railway Station and progresses alongside the existing conventional lines to the right adjacent to the Songhua River. After crossing on the new Harbin to Qiqihar Railway Passenger Dedicated Line Songhua River Bridge the line reaches Harbin North Railway Station, newly constructed as part of the line. The line continues alongside the existing conventional Harbin–Manzhouli railway through the suburban areas, progressing through Hulan District before entering Zhaodong. Afterwards it continues beside the Harbin–Manzhouli railway north-west to Anda and Daqing finally diverging to terminate in Qiqihar.
Original plans called for the demolition of nearly century-old Ji Hongqiao, causing Harbin conservation experts and the public to bring attention to the issue, with some people and experts recommending design changes, related to heritage protection.
The original design of the project planned to demolish and rebuild the century-old railway bridge at Binzhou, through the joint efforts of conservation workers and volunteers, they eventually changed the original design, retaining the old bridge and a new railway bridge for the Harbin–Qiqihar intercity railway.
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