Non-stop train to link Beijing and Zhangjiakou Olympic villages

PHOTO: China Daily/ANN

It will take about 70 minutes for athletes and 80 minutes for journalists to reach the Olympic Village in Zhangjiakou's Chongli county from Beijing's equivalent, Beijing's bid officials said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.

The high-speed rail or Beijing-Chongli route is nonstop and takes 52.5 minutes during the Games if Beijing and co-bidder Zhangjiakou are awarded the rights to host the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday, said Wang Xiaotao, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Bid spokeswoman Wang Hui told the media briefing that interview rooms with WiFi connection on the train will provide convenience for reporters.

The Olympic village in Zhangjiakou is in a key area of the local ski industry, which has proved a worry to native villagers as they fear they could be relocated.

Gui Lin, director of facility planning on the Beijing Winter Olympic Games Committee, said relocation work was written into the urban development plan two years ago and some villages completed relocation before Zhangjiakou's joint bid with Beijing was made.

All villagers would have been relocated regardless of whether there was a Games bid, Gui said.

Relocation could help improve living standards of villagers and provide more job opportunities. The move will be finished in five to ten years, she said.

Song Qiang, an environmental expert, said the sustainable concept in Beijing's Winter Games bid is not only reflected in environmental protection, but also on social impact. "We will take care of their rights and give them enough compensation as guaranteed by national laws and local regulations," Song said.