An express railway linking Beijing and the northern city of Zhangjiakou is expected to begin construction in 2014 and be completed in 2017, a local official said Monday.
The 174-km-long line is a cutting-edge advantage for the two cities to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to Zhang Chunsheng, an official in charge of the bidding office under the Zhangjiakou municipal government.
Trains will take only 40 minutes to make the run from the capital to Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei province, a journey which currently takes at least four to five hours, according to Zhang.
After the new line is opened, the trains currently in operation will only be used to transport cargo, he said.
The two cities will launch a joint bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the Chinese Olympic Committee announced in early Nov. 2013.
Beijing, host city of the 2008 Summer Games, will bid to stage the ice events while Zhangjiakou will seek hosting rights for snow sports, according to the COC.