The city is working on a plan to relocate Shenzhen West Railway Station in Nanshan District to Xili to make way for construction in the Shekou-Qianhai free trade zone.
The Qianhai section of Pingnan Railway, which links Pinghu in Longgang District and Nantou in Nanshan District, will go underground, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported, citing a plan from the Shenzhen rail construction headquarters office.
According to the project plan, the 3.29-kilometer rail between Mawan Station and Shenzhen West Railway Station will be dismantled. As the rail lies at the brink of the Qianhai development zone and Nanshan District, and runs north-south to Xili, it bottlenecks the east-west traffic between Nanshan and Qianhai.
The relocation of the decades-old Shenzhen West Railway Station and underground rail project could also improve the safety of the rail operation and stimulate Qianhai’s development.
Shenzhen West Railway Station was built in 1989 as a transportation hub for Shenzhen’s western port area. It started passenger train service in 1994 to meet the surge of passengers, especially migrant workers during Spring Festival holidays.
The station was criticized for its poor facilities, narrow and limited waiting halls and muddy surrounding roads. During the Spring Festival transport season, passengers had to wait in temporary sheds to board trains. The public transport services to the railway station were also criticized for the limited bus routes.
Some netizens said it was unbelievable to find a railway station no better than a county railway station in a modern metropolis, though the number of passengers it saw was the same as a railway station in a city.
Since Shenzhen East Station was put into operation in 2012, the number of trains and passengers at Shenzhen West Railway Station has dropped drastically. But it has remained an important transport hub. During this summer season, Shenzhen West Railway Station operates 10 pairs of passenger trains a day between Shenzhen and Hengshan, Zhangjiajie, Lushan, Wuchang and Chongqing. It has also added three temporary trains to Hengyang, Yueyang and Huaihua since July.