Bei­jing opens 3 new sub­way lines

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DU JUAN du­juan@chi­

Bei­jing will fur­ther ex­pand its sub­way sys­tem with the open­ing of three new lines on Satur­day.

The two high-tech lines and one con­ven­tional tram will bring the num­ber of lines in the cap­i­tal to 22, cov­er­ing a to­tal of 608 kilo­me­ters, the Bei­jing Com­mis­sion of Trans­port said.

The 10.2-km S1 Line will be Bei­jing’s first mid- to lowspeed Ma­glev line, and has a top speed of 100 km/h. It will link the city’s western dis­tricts of Men­tougou and Shi­jing­shan, and pas­sen­gers can ride the en­tire line in less than 20 min­utes.

Ma­glev trains rely on elec­tro­mag­netic forces that el­e­vate car­riages about 1 cen­time­ter above the tracks, con­sid­er­ably re­duc­ing fric­tion and pro­vid­ing a smooth ride.

The 16.6-km Yan­fang Line is the Chi­nese main­land’s first do­mes­ti­cally made driver­less sub­way. It has a seat­ing ca­pac­ity of 960 and a top speed of 80 km/h.

The line con­nects Bei­jing’s south­west­ern Yan­shan and Fang­shan ar­eas, aim­ing to fa­cil­i­tate de­vel­op­ment.

Bei­jing’s first mod­ern tram, which will op­er­ate in Haid­ian dis­trict on the city’s west side, will also wel­come pas­sen­gers on Satur­day.

Known as the Xi­jiao Line, it will be pop­u­lar for sight­see­ing be­cause it passes eight at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing the Sum­mer Palace, Bei­jing Botan­i­cal Gar­den and Fra­grant Hills Park. It runs mainly at ground level, but may rise or go un­der­ground as the road sys­tem re­quires.

“In ad­di­tion to the in­crease of lines, we will also raise the com­fort level of rail­ways,” said Zhou Zhengyu, di­rec­tor of the com­mis­sion.

“For in­stance, we plan to add two business class car­riages to Line 19, which can en­sure a seat for each pas­sen­ger.”

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