The behind-the-scenes story of China's first high-speed rail to sea

Seetao 2022-12-01 11:22
  • The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway in Indonesia is China's first high-speed railway project with full design and construction abroad
  • Xia Jian, the person in charge of the overall design of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project, has worked on the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail site for more than 1,500 days
Read this article
16 Minutes

At the G20 summit, the Indonesian government showed the world the achievements of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. Afterwards, the heads of state of China and Indonesia jointly observed the successful test operation of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway through video. The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative and the practical cooperation between China and Indonesia, and it is also the first model project of China's high-speed rail overseas. CCTV's "Face to Face" column interviewed Xia Jian, the person in charge of the overall design of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project in Indonesia.

Won the first overseas order of China's high-speed rail

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway is the first high-speed railway in Indonesia and even in Southeast Asia with a design speed of 350 kilometers per hour. It is located in the west of Java Island, Indonesia, connecting the capital Jakarta and Bandung, the fourth largest city in Indonesia, with a total length of 142.3 kilometers.

The idea of the Indonesian government to build the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail began in 2010. In 2015, as the "national team" of China's railway survey and design, China Railway Design Group Co., Ltd. selected elite soldiers to form a project team to start the design bidding work. Xia Jian, who was only 33 years old at the time, became the team leader.

Xia Jian said: "At that time, the pressure was still very high. The pressure mainly came from two aspects. First, because the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail was the first overseas project I was in charge of, the heads of state of the two countries paid close attention to it. On the other hand, because Overseas projects are different from domestic projects. Domestic projects have very clear regulations and procedures, and the construction procedures are also very clear, but foreign projects are very special. The entire construction management process, including the legal environment and the human environment, are very different. It is special and full of unknowns. Challenges come from both nature and humanities, and the first is the challenge from the natural environment. Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world, consisting of more than 17,000 islands, with complex terrain, many volcanoes and many earthquakes , Such geographical conditions are a severe test for railway design."

In May 2015, Xia Jian led a team to Indonesia. On the one hand, he cooperated with the Indonesian National Geographic Bureau and professors from well-known universities to collect as many local geographical and geological maps as possible. On the other hand, the calculation and analysis of relevant regional data is carried out through means such as aerial photography, but these tasks cannot replace field surveys.

He said in an interview: “Every time we go out, my colleagues and I have to prepare to prevent mosquito bites, including medicines for treating snake venom, wear goggles, and protective boots, because many places are no-man’s land, cars It is impossible to get in. At this time, we will hire local villagers and let them take us to the depths of the rainforest on motorcycles. Because the rainforest used to be inaccessible, many grounds have accumulated water and humus coverings, motorcycles Get stuck in it a lot."

Indonesia straddles the equator, and the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway has a total length of more than 140 kilometers. Xia Jian led his team to almost every corner of the expected railway line despite the scorching heat and humidity.

On October 6, 2015, Indonesian President Widodo issued a presidential decree announcing that China had finally won the bidding. Subsequently, China and Indonesia established a joint venture company to be jointly responsible for the construction and operation of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project.

"Tailor-made" construction plan

In June 2018, the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway was fully started, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held. As the design director of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail contractor consortium, Xia Jian's work has entered a new stage.

As a designer, Xia Jian is always on site during the most difficult moments, going into the tunnel. When the tunnel was excavated, there was a lot of dust, and it was very hot and humid. Sometimes the temperature could reach 40 to 50 degrees Celsius, and the visibility was very poor. At that time, he and his team insisted on staying in the tunnel, witnessing every link of the tunnel excavation, and dynamically adjusted the protective measures in time according to the actual excavation situation.

Tunnel No. 2 of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway is the most difficult tunnel on the entire line, and mudstone is widely distributed around the tunnel. Mudstone is very stable and hard in a closed environment, but once it is developed by a tunnel and exposed to air, it will swell with water and shatter when squeezed by hand. The construction of No. 2 Tunnel chose the solution of surface grouting to reinforce the main body of the tunnel. Compared with bridges and roadbeds, tunnels are most likely to be damaged in geological disasters such as earthquakes, so special earthquake-proof measures must be taken.

At the beginning of 2020, the sudden new crown pneumonia epidemic swept the world. Materials, equipment and personnel exchanges required for the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail have been affected to varying degrees. Xia Jian, who was enjoying a long-lost vacation in China, offered to return to the project site in Indonesia immediately. He and his colleagues traveled across three countries and four places, and arrived at the project site as scheduled after traveling more than 6,000 kilometers for more than 30 hours.

At present, 93% of the civil works of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project have been completed. According to the plan, the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project will be officially completed and opened to traffic in June 2023. At that time, the travel time from Jakarta to Bandung will be shortened from the current 3 hours to 40 minutes, which will greatly facilitate the travel of local people, effectively promote the economic and social development of Indonesia, and play a role in deepening economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges between China and Indonesia, and promoting the Belt and Road Initiative. Cooperation is of great significance.

The host finally asked: "After the official operation of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail, your task may be over for the person in charge of the design. Do you have any plans or mission goals for yourself in the future?"

He said: "If the epidemic situation permits, I would like to take my family to Jakarta-Bandung (high-speed rail), take a 350-kilometer high-speed rail with the hard work of thousands of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail builders, and take them to visit every integrated building. A high-speed rail station with Indonesian traditional culture and modern fashion elements. When this moment comes, I think my wife and children will be proud of the first order of China’s high-speed rail.”Editor/Xu Shengpeng