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2016 will mark the 5th year Xuzhou East (Xuzhoudong) Railway Station will have been in existence. However, far from being concerned about if it’s too far from Central Xuzhou, the station itself is more worried about it being overwhelmed by an increasing ridership, according to the official peoplerail.com citing XInhua.
The issue here is that Xuzhou East station has only one main concourse, with a central boarding bridge beyond the ticket gates. There are only two boarding areas, despite each area having multiple gates for boarding, and passengers must remain inside the concourse until their train is called for boarding. Unlike at larger stations, the concourse is very limited in size and does not occupy the overbridge above the platforms.
A major station further down the line, Nanjing’s south station (Nanjingnan) is 18 times the size of Xuzhou East. It puts pressure on Xuzhou East, which is a key rail node in China. Whereas only 1.36 million riders used the station in 2011, that figure has since grown to 7.19 million. This figure is expected to double to 14.7 million by around 2025.
Mr Mark Han, a station executive at Xuzhou East, has pointed out at the installation of extra ticket gates at the station, but that the station still is facing a challenge in front of a soaring ridership. The current station was in fact larger than originally planned, but was still unable to handle such a huge influx of passengers.
The new solution now is to expand the elevated concourse, which passengers will use whilst waiting for their train. Expansion works are expected starting in Q4 2016, to be completed when new railway lines are connected to the station in a few years’ time.