Beijing Subway

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Beijing Subway
Beijing Subway logo.svg
Overview
Locale Beijing
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 17
Number of stations 232 if stations connected by transfers are counted once
262 if stations connected by transfers are counted separately[a]
Daily ridership 9.7508 million (July 2013 daily avg.)[1]
11.5595 million (2014 peak)[2]
Annual ridership 3.209 billion (2013)[3]
Operation
Began operation 1 October 1969
Operator(s) Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp., Ltd
Beijing MTR Corp. Ltd.
Technical
System length 465 km (289 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Beijing Subway
Traditional Chinese 北京地鐵
Simplified Chinese 北京地铁

The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. The subway is owned by the city of Beijing and has two operators, the wholly state-owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp., which operates 14 lines, and the Beijing MTR Corp., a public-private joint venture with the Hong Kong MTR, which manages the other three lines.

The subway is the oldest metro system in mainland China. The first line opened in 1969, and it has grown to 17 lines, 232 stations[a] and 465 km (289 mi) of track in operation,[4][5] making it the second longest subway system in the world after Shanghai. The subway is one of the world's busiest in annual ridership, with 3.209 billion trips delivered in 2013.[3][6] With an average ridership of 9.7508 million[1] and an average weekday ridership of over 10 million,[1] the Beijing Subway set a single-day ridership record of 11.2414 million passengers on April 30, 2014.[2]

The Beijing Subway's flat fare of ¥2.00 (about USD0.32) per ride with free transfers on all lines except for the Airport Express, is the lowest among all rapid transit systems in China. The low fare is made possible by annual subsidies of about ¥2 billion by the Beijing Municipal Government for subway operations, or about ¥0.81 (USD0.13) per ride.[7]

The subway has undergone rapid expansion since 2002, as only two of the 17 current lines were in service before then. The most recent expansion came into effect on December 28, 2013 with the opening of two sections on Line 8.[8] The existing network still cannot adequately meet the city's mass transit needs and extensive expansion plans call for 19 lines and over 708 km (440 mi) of track in operation by 2015[9][10] and 1,050 km (650 mi) of track by 2020.[11][12]

Fares[edit]

Beijing Subway fare media

The Yikatong card
A single-ride farecard

A flat fare of RMB(¥) 2.00 with unlimited transfers applies to all lines except the Airport Express, which costs ¥25.[13] Children below 1.2 metres (47 in) in height ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult.[14]

Before the flat fare was introduced on October 7, 2007, fares ranged from ¥3 to ¥7, depending on the line and number of transfers. The flat fare is the lowest among metro systems in China.[7] Other major Chinese subway systems set fares based on distance traveled.

Fares are collected through automatic fare collection (AFC) machines that accept single-ride tickets and the One Card Through Card or Yikatong, an integrated circuit card (ICC card) that can store credit for multiple rides.[15] Riders can purchase tickets and add credit to Yikatong at ticket counters and vending machines in every station. Yikatong is also accepted on nearly all urban and suburban buses, and can be used as e-money for other purchases. The use of tickets hand checked by clerks was phased out, ending on June 9, 2008.[16]

Hours of operation[edit]

The subway is generally closed after midnight, unless a special occasion prompts extended operating hours.[c] The first trains depart terminals at around 5 am and the last leave at around 11 pm. The Airport Express train starts at around 6 am.

Lines[edit]

Beijing Subway lines generally follow the checkerboard layout of the city. Most lines through the urban core (outlined by the Line 10 loop) run parallel or perpendicular to each other and intersect at right angles. Of the 17 lines, 11 are numbered and the other six are named after suburban destinations.

Line & Colour Terminals
(District)
Opened
[17]
Newest
Extension
Length
km
Stations
(# above ground)
Transfers
01Line 1 Pingguoyuan
(Shijingshan)
Sihui East
(Chaoyang)
1969 1999 30.4 23 (2) 2 4 5 9 10 Batong
02Line 2
loop
Xizhimen
(Xicheng)
Beijing Railway Station (Dongcheng) 1971 1987 23.1 18 1 4 5 6 8 13 Airport
04Line 4
[b]
Anheqiao North
(Haidian)
Gongyixiqiao
(Fengtai)
2009 2010[b] 28.2 24 (1) 1 2 6 9 10 13 Daxing[b]
05Line 5 Tiantongyuan North
(Changping)
Songjiazhuang
(Fengtai)
2007 27.6 23 (7) 1 2 6 10 13 Yizhuang
06Line 6 Haidian Wuluju
(Haidian)
Caofang
(Chaoyang)
2012 30.4 20 2 4 5 8 9 10
08Line 8 Zhuxinzhuang
(Changping)
Nanluoguxiang
(Dongcheng)
2008 2013 26.6 17 (1)[a] 2 6 10 13 Changping
09Line 9 National Library
(Haidian)
Guogongzhuang
(Fengtai)
2011 2012 16.5 13 1 4 6 10 14 Fangshan
10Line 10
loop
Xiju
(Fengtai)
Shoujingmao
(Fengtai)
2008 2013 57.1 45 1 4 5 6 8 9 13 14 Yizhuang Airport
13Line 13 Xizhimen
(Xicheng)
Dongzhimen
(Dongcheng)
2002 2003 40.9 16 (15) 2 4 5 8 10 15 Changping Airport
14Line 14 Zhangguozhuang
(Fengtai)
Xiju
(Fengtai)
2013 2014 12.4 07 (2)[a] 9 10
15Line 15 Wangjing West
(Chaoyang)
Fengbo
(Shunyi)
2010 2011 30.2 12 (4)[a] 13
BTBatong Line Sihui
(Chaoyang)
Tuqiao
(Tongzhou)
2003 18.9 13 (13) 1
CPChangping Line Nanshao
(Changping)
Xi'erqi
(Haidian)
2010 21.24 077 (6) 8 13
DXDaxing Line
[b]
Gongyixiqiao
(Fengtai)
Tiangongyuan
(Daxing)
2010 21.7 12 (1) 4[b]
FSFangshan Line Guogongzhuang
(Fengtai)
Suzhuang
(Fangshan)
2010 2011 24.79 11 (9) 9
YZYizhuang Line Songjiazhuang
(Fengtai)
Ciqu
(Tongzhou)
2010 23.3 13 (8)[a] 5 10
AEAirport Express Dongzhimen
(Dongcheng)
Terminal 2 (Chaoyang)
Terminal 3 (Shunyi)
2008 28.1 04 (1) 2 10 13
Total 465 261[a]
Schematic map of Beijing Subway lines in operation. (Not to scale)


A Line 2 train
Line 2 platform at Xizhimen
Ticket entry gates at Yuanmingyuan Station
Airport Express train

Lines serving the urban core[edit]

Lines to outlying suburbs[edit]

History[edit]

Schema showing the development of the Beijing Subway from 1971 to 2013

1953–1965: origins[edit]

The subway was proposed in September 1953 by the city's planning committee and experts from the Soviet Union.[18] After the end of the Korean War, Chinese leaders turned their attention to domestic reconstruction. They were keen to expand Beijing's mass transit capacity but also valued the subway as an asset for civil defense. They studied the use of the Moscow Metro to protect civilians, move troops and headquarter military command posts during the Battle of Moscow, and planned the Beijing Subway for both civilian and military use.[18]

The Chinese lacked expertise in building subways and drew heavily on Soviet and East German technical assistance. In 1954, a delegation of Soviet engineers, including some who had built the Moscow Metro, was invited to plan the subway in Beijing.[18] From 1953 to 1960, several thousand Chinese students were sent to the Soviet Union to study subway construction.[18] An early plan unveiled in 1957 called for one ring route and six other lines with 114 stations and 172 km (107 mi) of track.[18] Two routes vied for the first to be built. One ran east-west from Wukesong to Hongmiao, underneath Changan Avenue. The other ran north-south from the Summer Palace to Zhongshan Park, via Xizhimen and Xisi. The former was chosen due to more favorable geological foundation and greater number of government bureaus served. The second route would not be built until construction on Line 4 began forty years later.

The deterioration of relations between China and Soviet Union disrupted subway planning. Soviet experts began to leave in 1960, and were completely withdrawn by 1963.[19] In 1961, the entire project was halted temporarily due to severe hardships caused by the Great Leap Forward. Eventually, planning work resumed. The route of the initial line was shifted westward to create an underground conduit to move personnel from the heart of the capital to the Western Hills. On February 4, 1965, Chairman Mao Zedong personally approved the project.[20]

1965–1981: the slow beginning[edit]

Many areas of Beijing's city walls were torn down during the construction of the subway. The route of the initial subway line was slightly altered to save Qianmen gate (above) and its archery tower (visible at far right).
Left: Entrance to the Fushouling Station once designated terminus of Line 1 but was not open to the public. Right: Entrance to the Wukesong Station on Line 1

Construction began on July 1, 1965, at a ceremony attended by national leaders including Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, and mayor Peng Zhen.[21] The most controversial outcome of the initial subway line was the demolition of the Beijing's historic inner city wall to make way for the subway. Construction plans for the subway from Fuxingmen to the Beijing Railway Station called for the removal of the wall, as well as the gates and archery towers at Hepingmen, Qianmen, and Chongwenmen. Leading architect Liang Sicheng argued for protecting the wall as a landmark of the ancient capital. Chairman Mao favored demolishing the wall over demolishing homes. In the end, Premier Zhou Enlai managed to preserve several walls and gates, such as the Qianmen gate and its arrow tower by slightly altering the course of the subway.[22]

The initial line was completed and began trial operations in time to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on October 1, 1969.[20][23] It ran 21 km (13 mi) from the army barracks at Fushouling to the Beijing Railway Station and had 16 stations.[20] This line forms parts of present-day Lines 1 and 2. It was the first subway to be built in China, and predates the metros of Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., but technical problems would plague the project for the next decade.

Initially, the subway hosted guest visits.[20] On November 11, 1969, an electrical fire killed three people, injured over 100 and destroyed two cars.[20] Premier Zhou Enlai placed the subway under the control of the People's Liberation Army in early 1970, but reliability problems persisted.[20]

On January 15, 1971, the initial line began operation on a trial basis between the Beijing Railway Station and Gongzhufen.[24] Single ride fare was set at ¥0.10 and only members of the public with credential letters from their work units could purchase tickets.[24] The line was 10.7 km in length, had 10 stations and operated more than 60 train trips per day with a minimum wait time of 14 minutes.[24] On August 15, the initial line was extended to Yuquan Lu and had 13 stations over 15.6 km.[24] On November 7, the line was extended again, to Gucheng Lu, and had 16 stations over 22.87 km.[24] The number trains per day rose to 100. Overall, the line delivered 8.28 million rides in 1971, averaging 28,000 riders per day.[24]

From 1971 to 1975, the subway was shut down for 398 days for political reasons.[e] On December 27, 1972, the riders no longer needed to present credential letters to purchase tickets.[24] In 1972, the subway delivered 15 million rides and averaged 41,000 riders per day.[24] In 1973, the line was extended to Pingguoyuan and reached 23.6 km in length with 17 stations and 132 train trips per day.[24] The line delivered 11 million rides in 1973, averaging 54,000 riders per day.[24]

Despite its return to civilian control in 1976, the subway remained prone to closures due to fires, flooding, and accidents. Annual ridership grew from 22.2 million in 1976 and 28.4 million in 1977 to 30.9 million in 1978, and 55.2 million in 1980.[24]

1981–2000: two lines for two decades[edit]

On April 20, 1981, the Beijing Subway Company, then a subsidiary of the Beijing Public Transportation Company, was organized to take over subway operations.[25] On September 15, 1981, the initial line passed its final inspections, and was handed over to the Beijing Subway Company, ending a decade of trial operations.[25] It had 19 stations and ran 27.6 kilometres (17.1 miles) from Fushouling in the Western Hills to the Beijing Railway Station.[25] Investment in the project totaled ¥706 million. Annual ridership rose from 64.7 million in 1981 and 72.5 million in 1982 to 82 million in 1983.[25]

Paper tickets for Lines 1 & 2

On September 20, 1984, a second line was opened to the public.[25] This horseshoe-shaped line was created from the eastern half of the initial line and corresponds to the southern half of the present-day Line 2.[25] It ran 16.1 km (10.0 mi) from Fuxingmen to Jianguomen with 16 stations.[25] Ridership reached 105 million in 1985.[25]

Entrance to the Wangfujing Station on Line 1. The Wangfujing station opened in 1999 as part of Line 1's eastward extension from Fuxingmen.

On December 28, 1987, the two existing lines were reconfigured into Lines 1, which ran from Pingguoyuan to Fuxingmen and Line 2, in its current loop, tracing the Ming city wall.[25] Fares doubled to ¥0.20 for single-line rides and ¥0.30 for rides with transfers.[25] Ridership reached 307 million in 1988.[25] The subway was closed from June 3–4, 1989 during the suppression of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. In 1990, the subway carried more than one million riders per day for the first time, as total ridership reached 381 million.[25] After a fare hike to ¥0.50 in 1991, annual ridership declined slightly to 371 million.

On January 26, 1991, planning began on the eastward extension of Line 1 under Chang'an Avenue from Fuxingmen.[26] The project was funded by a 19.2 billion yen low-interest development assistance loan from Japan.[26] Construction began on the eastern extension on June 24, 1992, and the Xidan station opened on December 12, 1992.[26] The remaining extension to Sihui East was completed on September 28, 1999.[27] National leaders Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Yu Zhengsheng and mayor Liu Qi were on hand to mark the occasion.[27] The full-length of Line 1 became operational on June 28, 2000.[28]

Despite little track expansion in the early 1990s, ridership grew rapidly to reach a record high of 558 million in 1995, but fell to 444 million the next year when fares rose from ¥0.50 to ¥2.00. After fares rose again to ¥3.00 in 2000, annual ridership fell to 434 million from 481 million in 1999.[28]

2001–2008: planning for the Olympics[edit]

In the summer of 2001, the city won the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics and accelerated plans to expand the subway. From 2002 and 2008, the city planned to invest ¥63.8 billion (US$7.69 billion) in subway projects. Work on Line 5 had already begun on September 25, 2000.[29] Land clearing for Lines 4 and 10 began in November 2003 and construction commenced by the end of the year.[30] Most new subway construction projects were funded by loans from the Big Four state banks. Line 4 was funded by the Beijing MTR Corporation, a joint-venture with the Hong Kong MTR.[31] To achieve plans for 19 lines and 561 km (349 mi) by 2015, the city planned to invest a total of ¥200 billion ($29.2 billion).[32]

Line 13 train between Wudaokou and Shangdi
Line 13 station at Longze. Line 13 opened in two parts in 2002 and 2003.
A model SFX01 Batong Line train at Shuangqiao. The Batong Line opened in Dec. 2003

The next additions to the subway were surface commuter lines that linked to the north and east of the city. Line 13, a half loop that links the northern suburbs, first opened on the western half from Huilongguan to Xizhimen on September 28, 2002 and the entire line became operational on January 28, 2003.[33] Batong Line, built as an extension to Line 1 to Tongzhou district, was opened as a separate line on December 27, 2003.[34] Work on these two lines had begun respectively in December 1999 and 2000.[35] Ridership hit 607 million in 2004.

Line 5 came into operation on October 7, 2007. It was the city's first north-south line, extending from the Songjiazhuang in the south to Tiantongyuan in the north. On the same day, subway fares were reduced from between ¥3 and ¥7 per trip, depending on the line and number of transfers, to a single flat fare of ¥2 with unlimited transfers. The lower fare policy caused the Beijing Subway to run a deficit of ¥600 million in 2007, which was expected to widen to ¥1 billion in 2008.[32] The Beijing municipal government covered these deficits to encourage mass transit use, and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. On a total of 655 million rides delivered in 2007, the government's subsidy averaged ¥0.92 per ride.[36]

Elevated Line 5 station (red) and platform at Tiantongyuan. Line 5 opened on Oct. 7, 2007.
Beitucheng Station for Lines 8 and 10, which along with the Airport Express, opened on July 19, 2008.
Each of the four original stations on the Olympic Branch Line (Line 8) has a unique interior decor style. (Pictured: South Gate of Forest Park)

In the summer of 2008, in anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games, three new lines—Line 10, the Olympic Branch Line and the Airport Express—opened on July 19 for trial operation.[37] The use of paper tickets, hand checked by clerks for 38 years, was discontinued and replaced by electronic tickets that are scanned by automatic fare collection machines upon entry and exit of the subway. Stations are outfitted with touch screen vending machines that sell single-ride tickets and multiple-ride Yikatong fare cards. The subway set a daily ridership record of 4.92 million on August 22, 2008, the day of the Games' closing ceremony[38] In 2008, total ridership rose by 75% to 1.2 billion.[39]

2008–2013: rapid expansion[edit]

After the Chinese government announced a ¥4 trillion economic stimulus package in November 2008, the Beijing urban planning commission further expedited subway building plans, especially for surface light rail to suburban districts that are cheaper to build. In December 2008, the commission moved completion dates of the Yizhuang and Daxing Lines to 2010 from 2012, finalized the route of the Fangshan Line, and unveiled the Changping and Western Suburban Lines.[40]

All stations built since 2007 have platform doors, including the Weigongcun Station on Line 4, which opened September 28, 2009.
Entrance D to Xisi Station on Line 4. Each station entrance has an entrance label
Construction site of Line 15 near Wangjing Station in Sept. 2009
Elevated viaduct on the Fangshan Line

Line 4 started operation on September 28, 2009, bringing subway service to much of western Beijing.[41] It is managed by the Hong Kong MTR through a joint venture with the city. In 2009, the subway delivered 1.457 billion rides,[42] 19.24% of mass transit trips in Beijing.[43]

The new Xierqi interchange for Lines 13 and Changping
Shahe Station on the Changping Line
Changyang Station on the Fangshan Line
Yizhuang Culture Park Station on the Yizhuang Line
On December 30, 2010, Lines 15, Changping, Fangshan, Yizhuang and Daxing, all suburban lines, commenced operation.

On December 30, 2010, five suburban lines: Lines 15 (Phase I from Wangjing West to Houshayu except Wangjing East Station), Changping, Fangshan (except Guogongzhuang Station), Yizhuang (except Yizhuang Railway Station), and Daxing, commenced operation.[44] The addition of 108 km (67 mi) of track, a nearly 50% increase, made the subway the fourth longest metro in the world. One year later, on December 31, 2011, the subway surpassed the New York City Subway to become the third longest metro in revenue track length with the extension of Line 8 north from the Olympic Green to Huilongguan, the opening of Line 9 in southwest Beijing from Beijing West Railway Station to Guogongzhuang (except Fengtai Dongdajie Station, which opened on October 12, 2012), the extension of the Fangshan Line to Guogongzhuang, and the extension of Line 15 from Houshayu to Fengbo in central Shunyi.[45] Ridership reached 2.18 billion in 2011.

Nanluoguxiang Station on Line 6 blends into the traditional courtyard neighborhood of central Beijing.
Line 8’s concourse in Guloudajie Station with drum-shaped lights inspired by nearby Drum Tower.
Interior décor of Beihai North Station evokes the white stupa of Beihai Park.
Mural in Chaoyangmen Station depicting the shipment of grain from the Grand Canal to the granaries inside Chaoyangmen during imperial times.
Beijing Television interviewed subway officials on December 30, 2012, when over 40 new stations were open, and the subway became the longest in the world. The interview took place on Guloudajie Station, Line 8, one of the new stations opened on that day

On December 30, 2012, Line 6 (Phase I from Haidian Wuluju to Caofang), the extension of Line 8 from Beitucheng south to Gulou Dajie (except Andelibeijie Station), the remainder of Line 9 (except Military Museum Station) and the remainder of the Line 10 loop (except the Xiju-Shoujingmao section and Jiaomen East Station) entered service. The addition of 69.8 km (43 mi) of track increased the network length to 442 km (275 mi) and allowed the subway to overtake the Shanghai Metro, for several months, as the world’s longest metro.[46] The subway delivered 2.46 billion rides in 2012.[6]

On May 5, 2013, the Line 10 loop was completed with the opening of the Xiju-Shoujingmao section and the Jiaomen East Station.[8] The 57 km (35 mi) loop line became the longest underground subway loop in the world.[8] On the same day, the first section of Line 14 from Zhangguozhuang to Xiju also entered operation, ahead of the opening of the Ninth China International Garden Expo in Fengtai District.[8] The subway's total length reached 456 km (283 mi).[8]

On December 28, 2013, two sections were added to Line 8, which extended the line north to Zhuxinzhuang and south to Nanluoguxiang.[47] In 2013, the subway delivered 3.209 billion rides, an increase of 30% from the year before.[3]

Future lines[edit]

There are at least seven lines under construction with work on several more lines set to begin in 2014. The network was set to reach almost 500 km (310 mi) by the end of 2013.[48] According to expansion plans announced in January 2011, the subway network in 2015 is expected to reach track density of 0.51 km per km2 (0.82 mi per sq. mi.) inside the Fifth Ring Road where residents would on average have to walk 1 km (0.62 mi) to the nearest subway station.[49]

A map showing Beijing subway lines currently in operation (solid lines) and lines projected for completion before 2016 (dashed lines) .This map is not drawn to scale.

The new lines will significantly expand the subway's coverage, especially south and west of the city. Line 7 will run parallel and to the south of Line 1. Line 16 will run parallel and to the west of Line 4. Line 14 will be extended from the southwest to the northeast. The Fangshan Line will be extended to the Third Ring Road and be connected with Lines 10 and 16.[50] The Western Suburban and Yanfang Lines will link outlying districts to the Beijing Subway.

To address the city's worsening traffic congestion problem, in December 2010 city planners moved the construction of several lines from the 13th Five Year Plan to the 12th Five Year Plan. This means Lines 8 (Phase III), 3, 12, 16, the Yanfang Line, as well as additional lines to Changping, Tiantongyuan, and Haidian will begin construction before 2015.[51] Subway planning authorities had indicated that Lines 3, 11, 12 and 16 were being planned for the more distant future.[52][53]

In January 2010, the government of Shijingshan District disclosed plans for a Line 11 in western Beijing that would traverse the Beijing Capital Steel complex and intersect with Lines 1 and 4.[54] Construction is set to begin in 2020.

In February 2012, the city government confirmed that six new lines, including Lines 3, 12, 17, R1 and R3, were under planning.[55] Line 17, also known as R2 is planned to run north-south, parallel and to the east of Line 5, from the Future Technology City to Yizhuang.[56]

Details of future subway lines
Sched.
opening
Line Phase & Section Terminals
(District)
Route Description Construction
since
Length
(km)
Stations Refs
2014 Line 6 Phase II Caofang Dongxiaoying
(Tongzhou)
extends Line 6 further east into Tongzhou District. 2010 12.4 7 [57][58][59][60]
Line 7 Beijing West Railway Station Jiaohuachang
(Tongzhou)
east-west line south of Line 1 Jan. 2010 23.9 21 [61][62]
Line 14 Phase II Eastern Section Pingleyuan
(Chaoyang)
Shangezhuang
(Chaoyang)
section running north south Apr. 2010 15.8 12 [63][64][65][66][67][68]
Line 15 Phase I
Section 3
Tsinghua University East
(Haidian)
Wangjing West
(Chaoyang)
Chaoyang section of Line 15 (western section) Apr. 2009 10.2 7 [57][69][70]
2015 Changping
Line
Phase II Nanshao Ming Tombs Scenic Area
(Changping)
extends Changping Line to Ming Tombs. 2011 9.5 4 [65][71][72][73][74][75]
Line 14 Phase II Central Section Xiju Pingleyuan
(Chaoyang)
J-shaped line, from the southwest corner of the city to the southeast corner, through Beijing South Station, then turning north to Guangqu Lu. Apr. 2010 16.3 14 [63][64][65][66][67]
Line 17 North section North District of Future Technology City
(Changping)
Wangjing West
(Chaoyang)
northern-most section from Changping District through Tiantongyuan to Wangjing 2014 6 [56]
Fangshan Line West extension Yancun North
(Fangshan)
Suzhuang
(Fangshan)
connects Fangshan Line to Yanfang Line 2014 2.2 1 [76]
Yanfang Line Main Line Yancun North
(Fangshan)
Yanhua extends Fangshan Line west to Yanshan Sinopec Center. 2013 10.2 8 [57][75][76][77][78]
Western
Suburban
Line
Bagou
(Haidian)
Fragrant Hills
(Haidian)
light rail or tram from the northwest corner of Line 10 to the Fragrant Hills. 2010 9.1 7 [57][73][79][80]
2016 Line 6 Phase III Pingguoyuan
(Shijingshan)
Haidian Wuluju
(Haidian)
extends Line 6 east to Shijingshan District 2013 8.9 5 [75][81]
Line 8 Phase III Museum of Art
(Dongcheng)
Wufutang
(Daxing)
extends Line 8 Phase II south through Qianmen and Yongdingmen along central north-south axis to Daxing District. 2013 17.3 14 [75][82][83]
Line 16 Beianhe
(Haidian)
Wanping
(Fengtai)
north-south line west of Line 4, including a section formerly known as Haidian Shanhou Line 2013 49.8 29 [57][57][75][84][85][86][87]
2018 New Airport Express Beijing South Railway Station Beijing Daxing International Airport Connecting to a proposed new Beijing Airport 37 4 [73][88][89]
Before 2020 Line 3 Tiancun Dongba East-west line parallel to line 6 37 29
Line 8 Phase III, South Extension Wufutang Yinghaizhen 5 2
Line 12 Tiancun Jiuxianqiao Following the North Third Ring Road 24 20
Line 17 Wangjing West
(Chaoyang)
Yizhuang Railway Station
(Tongzhou)
North-south line via Dongdaqiao, Yonganli and Shilihe 49.7 21 [56]
Line R1 Shang'ancun
(Mentougou)
Songzhuang
(Tongzhou)
An express line, running under Line 1 55 15

Monorail[edit]

Beijing planning authorities are also assessing mass transit monorail lines for areas of the city in which subway construction or operation is difficult.[90] Straddle beam monorail trains have lower transport capacity and operating speed (60 km/h) than conventional subways, but they are quieter to operate, have smaller turning radius and better climbing capability, and cost only one-third to one-half subways to build.[90][91] According to the initial environmental assessment report by the Chinese Academy of Rail Sciences, the Yuquan Lu Line is planned to have 21 stations over 24.966 km in western Beijing.[92] The line may begin construction in 2014 and would take two years to complete.[90] Another monorail line along the eastern Fourth Ring Road, is planned have 21 stations over 36 km.[91]

Rolling stock[edit]

All subway trains run on 1,435 millimetres (56.5 in) standard gauge rail and draw power from the 750V DC third rail, with the exception of trains on Lines 6 and 14, which use overhead wires. All lines operate 6-car train sets with a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), except Line 6, which uses 8-car sets, and the Airport Express, which has 4-car sets, which can reach 100 km/h (62 mph) and 110 km/h (68 mph) respectively.[93][94]

Most Beijing Subway rolling stock, such as this DKZ5 Line 13 train, draw power from the third rail.
Line 6 and 14 trains (pictured above) draw power from overhead electrical lines.
Subway rolling stock are maintained at depots such as the Wuliqiao Depot for Line 6 (pictured above).

Until 2003 nearly all trains were manufactured by the Changchun Railway Vehicles Company Ltd., now a subsidiary of the China CNR Corporation.[95] Currently, all trains on Lines 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, Airport Express and older models on Line 1 are made by Changchun RVC, which is under contract to supply trains for Lines Yizhuang, 9 and 10 (Phase II).[94][96] The newest Line 1 trains and those on Lines 4, 8, Batong, Changping and Daxing are made by Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., a subsidiary of China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Corp..[97][98]

The Beijing Subway Rolling Stock Equipment Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp. Ltd., provides local assemblage, maintenance and repair services.

System upgrades[edit]

Increasing Capacity[edit]

Queuing barriers outside the Beijing Railway Station are used to restrict the flow of passengers into the subway at peak times.

With new lines drawing more riders to the network and the fare reduction making rides more affordable, the subway has experienced severe overcrowding, especially during the rush hour.[99] As of 2013, significant sections of Lines 1, 4 - Daxing, 5, 13, Batong and Changping are officially overcapacity during rush hour.[100] In short term response, the subway upgraded signal equipment to increase the frequency of trains which added additional capacity to the subway lines. Average headways has been reduced to 2 min. on Lines 2 and 4;[101][102] 2 min. 05 sec. on Line 1;[103][104] 2 min. 15 sec. on Line 10;[105] 2 min. 30 sec. on Line 5;[106] 3 min. on Lines 13, and Batong; and 15 min. on the Airport Express.[107]

A crowded transfer corridor on Line 10.

Lines 13 and Batong have converted 4-car to 6-car trains.[108][109] Lines 6[110] and 7 have longer platforms that can accommodate 8-car B size trains,[111] while line 14 uses high capacity wide-body A size trains in 6 car sets.[112][113] Lines 3, 11, 12, 16[114] and Haidian Shanhou[114] under planning may adopt 8-car A size trains.[110]

The articulated cars of Line 5 trains have greater carrying capacity.

Despite these efforts, during the morning rush hour, conductors at line terminals and other busy stations must routinely restrict the number of passengers who can board each train to prevent the train from becoming too crowded for passengers waiting at other stations down the line.[115] As of August 31, 2011, 25 stations mainly on Lines 1, 5, 13, and Batong have imposed such restrictions.[116] Some of these stations have built queuing lines outside the stations to manage the flow of waiting passengers.[117] By January 7, 2013, 41 stations on Lines 1, 2, 5, 13, Batong, and Changping had instituted passenger flow restrictions during the morning rush hour.[118]

Shortening Transfers[edit]

At Wangjing West, an interchange station for Lines 13 and 15, passengers transferring between the two lines must pass through a lengthy transfer corridor that includes a pedestrian footbridge.

Interchange stations that permit transfers across two or more subway lines receive heavy traffic passenger flow. The older interchange stations are notorious for lengthy transfer corridors and slow transfers during peak hours. The average transfer distance an older interchange stations is 128 meters[119] The transfer between Lines 2 and 13 at Xizhimen was over 200 meters long and required 15 minutes to complete during rush hours.[120] In 2011, this station was rebuilt to reduce the transfer distance.[121] There are plans to rebuild other interchange stations such as Dongzhimen.[119]

In newer interchange stations, which are designed to permit more efficient transfers, the average transfer distance is 63 meters.[119] Many of the newer interchange stations including Guogongzhuang Station (Lines 9 and Fangshan), Nanluoguxiang (Lines 8 and 6), Zhuxinzhuang (Changping and Line 8), Beijing West Station (Lines 9 and 7), and National Library (Lines 9 and 4) feature cross platform transfers.[122] Nevertheless, longer transfer corridors must still be used when the alignment of the lines do not permit cross-platform transfer.[123] The transfer corridors between Lines 1 and 9 at the Military Museum, which opened on December 23, 2013, are 160 m in one direction and just under 300 m in the other.[124]

Cellular Network Coverage[edit]

Mobile phones can currently be used throughout, except in the tunnels between stations on Lines 1 and 2. There are plans for all lines and stations to have cellular coverage.[125]

Access for the Physically Disabled[edit]

Each station is equipped with ramps, lifts, or elevators to facilitate wheelchair access.[126][127] Newer model train cars now provide space to accommodate wheelchairs.[128] Automated audio announcements for incoming trains are available in all lines except for Line 1. On all lines, station names are announced in Mandarin Chinese and English.

Information Hotline[edit]

The Beijing Subway telephone hotline was initiated on the eve of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to provide traveler information, receive complaints and suggestions, and file lost and found reports.[129] The hotline combined the nine public service telephones of various subway departments.[130] On December 29, 2013, the hotline number was switched from (010)-6834-5678 to (010)-96165 for abbreviated dialing.[131] The hotline has staffed service from 5 am to midnight and has automated service during unstaffed hours.[129]

Automatic Fare Collection System[edit]

Each station has two to 15 ticket vending machines.[132] Ticket vending machines on Line 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 14 and several on Line 1 and 2 can add credit to Yikatong cards.[133]

Safety[edit]

Passenger searches[edit]

Since the 2008 Olympics, security checks of riders and bags have become mandatory on the Beijing Subway.

To ensure public safety during the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the subway initiated a three-month heightened security program from June 29 to September 20, 2008. Riders were subject to searches of their persons and belongings at all stations by security inspectors using metal detectors, X-Ray machines and sniffer dogs. Items banned from public transportation such as "guns, ammunition, knives, explosives, flammable and radioactive materials, and toxic chemicals" were subject to confiscation.[134] The security program was reinstituted during the 2009 New Year Holiday[135] and has since been made permanent through regulations enacted in February 2009.[136] Only bags are generally X-rayed (as of 2012), riders are checked only occasionally.

Emergency planning[edit]

After witnessing several serious subway accidents in South Korea (e.g. Daegu subway fire in February 2003), the subway removed all shops and vendors from the inside of stations and installed self-illuminating exit signs to facilitate emergency evacuation. The popular underground mall at Xidan station was closed.

Accidents[edit]

The subway was plagued by numerous accidents in its early years, including a fire in 1969 that killed six people and injured over 200.[137] But its operations have improved dramatically and there have been few reported accidents in recent years. Most of the reported fatalities on the subway are the result of suicides.[138] Authorities have responded by installing doors on platforms of newer lines.

There have been several reported fatal incidents at subway construction sites in recent years. On October 8, 2003, the collapse of steel beams at the construction site of Line 5's Chongwenmen Station killed three workers and injured one.[139] On March 29, 2007, the construction site at the Suzhoujie Station on Line 10 collapsed, burying six workers. On June 6, 2008, prior to the opening of Line 10, a worker was crushed to death inside an escalator in Zhichunlu Station when an intern turned on the moving staircase.[140] On July 14, 2010, two workers were killed and eight were injured at the construction site of Line 15's Shunyi Station when the steel support structure collapsed on them.[141] On September 17, 2010, Line 9 tunnels under construction beneath Yuyuantan Lake were flooded, killing one worker.[142] A city official who oversaw waterworks contracts at the site was convicted of corruption and given a death sentence with reprieve.[142] On June 1, 2011, one worker was killed when a section of Line 6 under construction in Xicheng District near Pinganli collapsed.[143] A collapse of an escalator at the Beijing Zoo Station on July 5, 2011, caused the death of one 13-year-old boy and injuries to 28 others.[144]

On May 4, 2013, a train derailed when it overran a section of track on Line 4. The section was not open to the public and was undergoing testing. There were no injuries.[145]

[edit]

The logo of the Beijing Subway contains the abbreviation B.G.D.

The subway's logo, a capital letter "G" encircling a capital letter "D" with the letter "B" silhouetted inside the letter D, was designed by Zhang Lide, a subway employee, and officially designated in April 1984.[146] The letters B, G, and D form the abbreviation for Běijīng gāosù diànchē or "Beijing high-speed electric carriage".

Subway Culture Park[edit]

A decommissioned Line 1 car in the Beijing Subway Culture Park

The Beijing Subway Culture Park, located near Xihongmen in Daxing District, opened in 2010 to commemorate the 40-year history of the Beijing Subway.[147] The 19 ha (47 acres) park was built using dirt and debris removed from the building of the Daxing Line and contains old rolling stock, sculpture, and informational displays.[147] Admission to the park is free.

Beijing Suburban Railway[edit]

The Beijing Suburban Railway, a suburban commuter train service, is managed separately from the Beijing Subway and has a different fare structure. Six "S"-numbered lines have been planned.[148] Line S2, opened August 6, 2008, runs from the Beijing North Railway Station to Yanqing County, and provides direct urban rail access to the Great Wall at Badaling.[149] The Beijing North Station is located near the subway stop at Xizhimen (Subway Lines 2, 4, 13).

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Diagram showing distinct line labels for the Daxing Line and Line 4 with continuous train service

a. ^ As of December 28, 2013, the number of unique stations in operation is 232. The unique station count treats the multiple platforms of a station complex as one station. If each station complex's platforms are counted as separate stations, then the total number of stations in operation as of February 15, 2014 would be 262.

The unique station count of 232 excludes: the Erligou Station on Line 6, the Andelibeijie and National Art Museum Stations on Line 8, the Wangjing East Station on Line 15 and the Yizhuang Railway Station on the Yizhuang Line, which were not in use as of December 28, 2013. Also excluded are the three restricted stations of Line 1, which are no longer used.

The total station count of 262 excludes the stations listed above and treats the Gongyixiqiao Station as two stations, as the southern terminus for Line 4 and northern terminus for the Daxing Line, even though through-train service have effectively transformed the two lines into a single line for which the Gongyixiqiao Station is (usually) not a terminus but a single station.

b. ^ With the opening of the Daxing Line on December 30, 2010 the Beijing MTR Corporation operates service on Lines 4 and Daxing as follows:[150][151]

  • A loop that covers both lines, from Anheqiao North, the northern terminus of Line 4, to Tiangongyuan, the southern terminus of the Daxing Line.
  • A loop that covers Line 4 plus one stop on the Daxing Line, from Anheqiao North to Xingong, the northernmost stop on the Daxing Line. Travelers wishing to proceed further south on the Daxing Line have to switch to a south-bound full-route train.

c. ^ The subway operated throughout the night from Aug. 8-9, 2008 to accommodate the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, and is extending evening operations of all lines by one to three hours (to 1-2 a.m.) through the duration of the Games.[152]

d. ^ There is no subway stop at the 12th gate, Deshengmen, between Jishuitan Station and Gulou Dajie Station.

e. ^ From August 12, 1973 to June 30, 1974 and in January 1975, the subway was closed due to defense mobilization.[153] It was closed from September 13 to November 6, 1971 in the aftermath of the Lin Biao Incident and on September 18, 1976 after the death of Chairman Mao.[153]

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  103. ^ "1号线最小行车间隔缩短至2分05秒 早高峰运力提高8%". 北京市地铁运营有限公司. 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  104. ^ "3月12日起1号线实施新编平日列车运行图运力再提高". 北京市地铁运营有限公司. 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  105. ^ (Chinese) 陈琳, 刘洋, 张璐 "北京地铁10号线贯通全长57公里 跑一圈近2小时" 北京晨报 2013-05-06
  106. ^ "3月28日(周三)5号线列车最小间隔缩短为2分30秒". 北京市地铁运营有限公司. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  107. ^ (Chinese) 三条新线将开 北京地铁奥运最高日客流将达587万 Xinhuanet July 17, 2008
  108. ^ (Chinese) 13号线加挂两节车厢 Beijing Youth Daily July 21, 2008
  109. ^ (Chinese) 北京地铁2号线全部更换空调车 新京报 Aug. 8, 2008
  110. ^ a b (Chinese) "北京四条新地铁线30日开通 首末车时间确定)" 2012-12-26
  111. ^ (Chinese) "4条地铁线将装屏蔽门" 法制晚报 Jan. 20, 2010
  112. ^ (Chinese) "首列北京地铁14号线A型地铁车辆在青岛下线" people.com 2012-12-12
  113. ^ (Chinese) "北京地铁十四号线工程列车编组7B改6A方案专题报告论证会召开" 北京市重大项目建设指挥部办公室 2010-12-30
  114. ^ a b (Chinese) "北京地铁16号线有望用A型车 每趟多运500人" sina 2009-10-26
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  116. ^ (Chinese) "北京25个地铁站高峰常态限流" 京华时报 2011-08-31
  117. ^ (Chinese video) "北京八通线公布早高峰拥挤度与限流挂钩" 中国新闻网 2011-09-05
  118. ^ (Chinese) "北京41地铁站公布常态限流时间 将精确到分钟" 新京报 2013-01-07
  119. ^ a b c (Chinese) "国贸东直门等四大换乘站拟择机改造 换乘不超5分钟" Zhengwu 2012-07-07
  120. ^ (Chinese) "北京:地铁西直门站换13号线不再绕大圈" CCTV August 28, 2009
  121. ^ (Chinese) "24日地铁西直门站地下换乘通道正式启用 换乘方式变化大" 北京地铁 2011-09-22
  122. ^ (Chinese) "南锣鼓巷地铁站可双向同台换乘" baic.gov.cn 2012-05-17
  123. ^ (Chinese) "公主坟地铁站新建四个换乘厅 换乘不超过100米" Zhengwu 2012-03-28
  124. ^ (Chinese) "北京地铁“最复杂换乘站”开通:用时最少7分钟" 北京晨报 2013-12-23
  125. ^ "Mobile network to be accessible in Beijing subway". Chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  126. ^ Beijing promises integrated subway service for disabled xinhua Aug. 27, 2008
  127. ^ All stations on Line 5 have elevators. Some of the older stations on Lines 1 and 2 have escalators that descend from the station entrances to the ticket counters one level below ground level but do not extend to the platform two levels below. In the summer of 2008, mechanical wheelchair lifts were installed next to staircases in these stations. "北京地铁安装轮椅升降平台(组图)",Xinhua June 20, 2008.
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  131. ^ (Chinese) 8号新线通了 地铁热线改成96165 北京青年报 2013-12-29
  132. ^ CityWeekend: The Official Beijingology Subway AFC Cheat Sheet (Part 3)/
  133. ^ The AFC machines are supplied by the following companies: Thales (Lines 1 & 2), Samsung SDS (Lines 4, 8 and 10, Founder, OMRON (Line 5), Nippon Signal (Lines 13 & Airport Express)
  134. ^ "Beijing starts passenger security checks in all subway stations",Chinaview.com.cn June 29, 2008
  135. ^ (Chinese) "元旦期间地铁客流将达840万 恢复“逢包必检" 千龙网 Dec. 31, 2008
  136. ^ (Chinese) "北京:拒不接受地铁安全检查将被处理" 《京华时报》 Mar. 18, 2009
  137. ^ Backgrounder: Major metro accidents in China
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  139. ^ (Chinese)"北京地铁五号线“10•8”事故"
  140. ^ (Chinese) "北京地铁实习生误操作 一维修工电梯内被挤死" 法制晚报 2009-06-21
  141. ^ "Two killed in Beijing subway construction site accident" Xinhua 2010-07-14
  142. ^ a b (Chinese) 北京地铁透水事故涉事官员贪贿近6千万被判死缓 Legal Daily 2014-01-30
  143. ^ (Chinese) "北京地铁6号线工地发生塌方 一工人被埋身亡" 2011-06-01
  144. ^ "Xinhuan News - One dead, 28 injured in Beijing subway escalator accident" 2011-07-05
  145. ^ http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1503776/beijing-subway-train-derails-during-testing-new-section-tracks
  146. ^ (Chinese) "中国地铁标志花样迭出 地铁建设如火如荼" 中国建筑新闻网 2012-06-04
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  148. ^ (Chinese) 本市规划建设6条市郊铁路 满足郊区市民出行 千龙网 July 22, 2008
  149. ^ (Chinese) 本市首条市郊铁路8月初通车 记者体验“动车”S2线 千龙网 July 22, 2008
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  151. ^ "Beijing MTR Corporation Limited". Mtr.bj.cn. 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  152. ^ "北京地铁今起至23日延长运营时间". Bjsubway.com. 2008-08-13. 
  153. ^ a b (Chinese)"地铁公司1971 -- 1980年" 地铁大事记 1

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