Construction on the electrical facilities for a crucial high-speed railway network linking Beijing and the Chongli District of Zhangjiakou, being built for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, has begun.
As reported by ecns.cn, the China Railway Corporation has said that the first 1,300-metre overhead wire for the railway is now being set-up and smart devices will be enabled throughout the power supply system to ensure operational safety.
It has also stated that the railway will have the world's first automatically driven trains running at speeds of up to 350 kilometres per hour.
Jiang Ming - deputy chief engineer of the China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation - said that by using the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, the trains can automatically start, run between stations, adjust their timing according to schedules, accurately stop at stations, and open and close their doors.
They are also equipped with several thousand sensors, allowing automatic inspection at any time to ensure safe operation, and are designed with an area to store skis and snowboards and a mobile news centre in which passengers can watch live Olympic broadcasts.
China Railway Corporation added that an assortment of intelligent robots will be used at high-speed rail stations to guide passengers and assist them in carrying their baggage.
It is estimated the laying of the track for the network, which organisers claim will reduce travel times between the Olympic and Paralympic venue hubs from more than three hours to just 50 minutes, will be completed by the end of May.
The adjusting of the track will then take place and is expected to last until July, with testing set to be held towards the end of the year.
Chinese officials repeatedly refused to reveal the cost of the railway network when bidding for the Games, insisting it was "unrelated to the bid".
This claim can be challenged, however, particularly because it is envisaged as such a key part of the transport plan for athletes and officials, as well as spectators.
The cost of the network is thought to be around the CNY¥58.41 billion (£6.55 billion/$8.69 billion/€7.69 billion) mark.
Beijing, which also hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, will be the home of the ice sports at the Games.
It will play host to curling, ice hockey and skating.
The majority of skiing events will be held in Zhangjiakou, located to the north-west of Beijing.