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Which Came First, Liziba Station or its Residential Building?

By VIVIAN YANWANG, XIAOYANICHONGQING|Jan 06,2022

Chongqing- Chongqing is called a mountain city because of its undulating and rich topography, where it integrates with the complexity and diversity of traffic patterns, said Ye Tianyi, design team leader of Liziba Station and teacher of the School of Civil Engineering at Chongqing University during an exclusive interview with iChongqing recently.

Liziba Station is famous for its most iconic scenery of the city where a monorail goes through a building.

Ye Tianyi, design team leader of Liziba Station and School of Civil Engineering teacher at Chongqing University. (iChongqing/ Wang Xiaoyan)

Chongqing has a wealth of means and methods in dealing with comprehensive and intricate traffic problems, including creatively building a railway that passes through a hole in a 19-story block of flats. This is Liziba Station, an overhead side platform station on Chongqing Rail Transit Line (CRT) 2, which has become a “tourism mecca” for visitors in recent years. Its pictures and videos of the scene have gone viral on the internet.

Liziba Station has become a “tourism mecca” for visitors in recent years. (iChongqing file photo)

Residents live with the transit

Liziba is far more than a train station for the locals but a home to residents’ daily lives.

“At that time, what we undertook was designing the residential building at Liziba Station,” said Ye. “Both the track and the residential building were designed and constructed at the same time, with no priority.”

“Although the track and the buildings seem to be integrated, they try to not interfere with each other,” said Ye.

Liziba Station, an overhead side platform station on Chongqing Rail Transit Line (CRT) 2. (iChongqing file photo)

Structures of the track and house

The biggest challenge in the design was handling the relationship between the track structure and the house structure. 

According to Ye, the track is relatively moving, while the house remains still. The applied forces of the two are completely different, and the requirements for the design are also different.

In the building where the Rail Transit Line (CRT) 2 passes, the first five floors consist of commercial space, the 9th to 19th floors are residential buildings, and the middle area, the sixth to eighth floors, are the rail transit.

Among them, the sixth floor is the equipment layer, the seventh floor is the station hall, and the eighth floor is the platform layer.

Furthermore, the length of the train crossing is 132 meters, while the height difference between the first and eighth floors is 26 meters, and the height between the eighth and 9th floors is 5.1 meters.

When the train passes through the Liziba station, the six pillars holding the rail are buried in the lower levels of the building.

“There is a safety distance of 20 centimeters between the six light rail pillars and the building so that there will be no vibration and noise interference when the train passes through,” said Ye.

As the monorail uses low-noise and low-vibration equipment, where the wheels are inflatable rubber tires, and the entire car body is supported by air springs, the noise during operation is much lower than the average sound level of 75.8 decibels compared with that on urban traffic arterial.

The building structure of Liziba Station (iChongqing file photo)

The operating system of the monorail’s wheels and track (iChongqing file photo)

Precedent for the whole country

Ye has never thought that his work would become one of the city’s most-visited tourist spots one day.

“Chongqing as an emerging megacity, its Liziba Station provides some guidance for possible intersections between track and house construction in the future,” said Ye. “In the case of Chongqing Rail Transit, I think it has set a precedent for the whole country.”

He added, Chongqing has a great say if other cities want to learn from Chongqing’s transportation design, where many monorail stations were built around hills and skyscrapers in the urban area just like Lizaba Station. 

Chongqing’s monorail started running in 2006 after three years of trial operation.

The city became a municipality in 1997, and Ye said he feels glad and honored that he could “contribute a little bit” to Chongqing’s development.

Beautiful landscape on Chongqing Rail Transit Line (CRT) 2. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

(Shi Jiaqi, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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