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CGTN | 0:50
CHINESE construction workers have broken through the longest tunnel on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway that will connect the country's capital with the ski resort of Taizicheng in the Zhangjiakou city prefecture.
The 174 kilometre long high-speed railway extension has been planned since 2009 and its construction was initially postponed by the Chinese government until 2014.
Above: Construction workers have finished drilling on the 13-kilometre tunnel (image courtesy of CGTN).
Located about 220 kilometres (140 miles) north-west from downtown Beijing, Zhangjiakou will host Nordic and freestyle skiing as well as snowboarding events of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Above: A map showing the three clusters for the 2022 Winter Olympics (image courtesy of Wikimedia/Flappiefh).
Beijing will host curling, ice hockey and speed skating, while Yanqing District, located about halfway in between the capital and Zhangjiakou will host bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and alpine skiing events.
Above: Artist's impression of the bobsled venue in Yanqing, currently under construction (image courtesy of China Daily).
The Chinese authorities are currently building new venues in all three places, as well as refurbishing a number of buildings used during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Above: A render of the snowboarding venue in Zhangjiakou (image courtesy of China Daily).
Since the two resorts outside the city do not usually receive enough snowfall, organisers are planning to use artificial snow and ice for all the events.
Above: The new high-speed railway will ensure that travel time between the Olympic venues is less than an hour (image courtesy of CGTN).
The connecting railway is designed with a maximum operating speed of 350 kilometres per hour, though the speed of the trains in Beijing is limited to 80-10 kilometres per hour. The new railway line places all three clusters within an hour of each other and should be complete by 2019.