Could Ji’nan West Become a 36-Platform Monster?
The Chinese WeChat and rail communities are talking about a massive expansion of Ji’nan West (济南西; Ji’nanxi) Railway Station — which, admittedly, can appear to be too much Zukunftsmusik during one of the station’s quieter hours, when the 17-platform present-day megahub looks quite expansive already.
The new expansion of the station is likely to be just southwest of the present-day station, and could add up to 19 new platforms. The present-day station is then expected to serve almost exclusively Beijing-Shanghai High Speed trains (or trains using that route), whilst the new extension, to be linked by an indoor passageway, will serve High Speed services to Zhengzhou and other new lines, including platforms futureproofed for more High Speed services. Classic Rail, too, will likely be introduced.
The present-day West Exit will likely close, only to be relocated further west — in this case, far out west. There could also be a new South Exit, although it might find itself awkwardly sandwiched between railway tracks and nearby high-rises (but then again, this being China, it could be done!).
The new West Extension will likely eat away at the open-air car park currently in its place, and extend west close to the nearby motorway. The entire extension could very well be reality, by the way: it has been mentioned by top CR Ji’nan officials in mid-March 2019 in press events.
Ji’nan West at present has been critised by some as being “too small”, with no direct access to trains from the West Entrance (passengers must cross all the way to the far eastern end for access to Departures level).