The V-shaped switchback, an ingenious design by Zhan Tianyou

Zhan Tianyou, often called the "Father of China's Railways", was the chief designer of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou line. This was the first railway to be funded, designed, and built solely by Chinese. To navigate across steep slopes around the Badaling section of the Great Wall, he incorporated a V-shaped switchback and used a "shaft construction method" of tunnel excavation. His ingenuity and dedication have inspired generations of Chinese railway engineers.

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