Beijing, China – China starts off 2018 by opening multiple new rail lines, including a driverless subway line in Beijing alongside two other new rail lines in the city.
China’s first fully domestically developed driverless subway line serves Beijing’s southwest suburbs. The Yanfang line has nine stations along its 14.4 kilometre route.
In another first for the city, the ten kilometre long Line S1 began service over the weekend. The medium-low speed maglev line connects the western suburbs. It’s not just commuters who will benefit from the new lines though, tourists will find travelling from the Summer Palace out to the Fragrant Hills in northwest Beijing easier now that the nine kilometre long West Suburb Line has been launched.
In total Beijing now has 22 metro lines providing a network that spans 608 kilometres.
Other cities across China saw new metro services being tested, in the southwestern city of Guiyang the first phase of the Metro Line one carried out successful tests. This is the first urban rail line for the city and is expected to be complemented by Line two which is currently under construction and a further two lines that are in the planning and design phase.
The tests showed that Guiyang North Railway Station is only 26 minutes away from Xiamai West Station. A bus journey along the same route takes more than an hour.
The southeastern coastal city of Xiamen debuted its first subway on New Year’s Eve. The new line travel 30 kilometres across the city and carried 24,000 passengers in one hour at its peak on the first day.
Three more subway lines are planned for Xiamen by 2020.
In the northeast a new high-speed railway linking Shijiazhuang with Jinan, a city just under 300 kilometres away, began operation. The line bridges the gap between two lines that connect Beijing and Shanghai and Beijing and Guangzhou.