Work on building China's first high-speed train station with a sea view will begin early next year in Qingdao, in East China's Shandong province, according to officials.
The station, in the Hongdao Economic Area of the coastal city, will serve as a new transportation hub after its completion, scheduled for 2019.
High-speed rail lines running through the station will shorten journey times from Qingdao to Jinan, Shandong's capital, to one hour instead of the current 2.5 hours. And it will take less than 3 hours to reach Beijing or Shanghai, from the current 5.5 hours and 6 hours respectively.
The new railway, with an estimated investment of 60 billion yuan ($9.4 billion), will be built along the Hongdao Bay and the Hongdao station will give passengers a full view of the bay from the waiting rooms, said Zhang Zongwang, deputy general manager of Jinan-Qingdao High-speed Railway Co Ltd, one of the two major developers of the project.
"They could walk to the seaside from the station," Zhang said.
He Changgen, chief engineer of the company, said a boulevard and pedestrian walkways will be built from the station to the sea.
"A new dock will also be built, facilitating local transportation and tourists to the city's major scenic spots, such as Zhanqiao Pier in downtown and others in the Huangdao New Area," He said.
The development will include 10 platforms and 20 railway lines. As a new transportation hub, the station will also be a crossing for five local subways planned by Qingdao municipal government.
"The new station will serve more than 20 million passengers a year in the long run," said Shang Liqun, the acting director general of the Hongdao Economic Development Area, the other developer of the project.
"By then, Qingdao will serve as the most important transportation hub for Shandong Peninsula, with the Qingdao Station, the Qingdao North Station opened in 2013 and the new Hongdao Station."
"I am excited about the new project," said Song Bo, a regular Jinan-Qingdao railway passenger. "The current lines are too slow. The trips will be more pleasant if they are shortened to one hour."