Expanded transportation network enhances capital's role as intermodal transport hub

By Song Mengxing | Updated: 2019-03-14

Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is scheduled to open in September, will serve as a comprehensive transportation hub, officials from the Beijing Commission of Development and Reform said at a recent news conference.

Centering on the new airport in Daxing district on the southern outskirts of Beijing, a series of transportation projects have rolled out.

Among them is an express rail line linking the airport with downtown Beijing, which will be incorporated into the city's expanded subway network.

Its initial phase starting from Caoqiao is slated to be put into use in September. The second phase will extend northward to the Lize Financial Business Area. Trains on the route will be able to run as fast as 160 kilometers per hour

After one transfer, passengers from the city's central business district, high-tech business hub Zhongguancun and Financial Street will be able to use the new rapid transit rail service to reach the airport.

A new intercity express railway will be added to the network. Also scheduled to begin operation in September, the intercity express rail service will link downtown Beijing, the new airport and Xiongan New Area, an emerging area in Hebei province, which is about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing.

Another intercity railway, originally connecting Langfang and Zhuozhou cities in Hebei province, will be extended to the new airport in Beijing during its first phase and further to Beijing Capital International Airport in the northeast of the city in the second phase.

In addition to promoting the air-rail combined transportation mode, local authorities have also planned a widespread expressway network revolving around the new airport.

Beijing Daxing International Airport Expressway, a two-way, eight-lane road linking the airport with downtown Beijing, is scheduled to be put into service in June.

To the north of the airport is another new expressway linked with other major roads in the city's transportation network, which will also be ready for use in June.

The construction projects, together with the Beijing-Taipei Expressway and upgraded Beijing-Kaifeng Expressway, puts the total number of expressways running through or nearby the airport to six, the equivalent to that of Beijing Capital International Airport.

The expressway network will help the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, relieve the transit pressure of the new airport and enhance Beijing's position as a major transportation hub, local officials said.

Planners prioritized the use of public transport facilities. They forecast that more than half of the passengers at the new airport will opt for rail and bus services.

The proportion is 21 percent at Beijing Capital International Airport, 43 percent at Shanghai Hong qiao International Airport, 31 percent at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and 30 percent at Heathrow Airport in London, according to the Beijing commission.

The advanced transportation network will reduce travel time to downtown Beijing, the city's sub-center Tongzhou district in the east and Xiongan New Area to less than half an hour.

It will take about an hour to reach Tianjin, as well as major cities in Hebei province including Shijiazhuang, Baoding and Tangshan.