good news

July 19th, 2008

新京报/The Beijing News reports that the three new subway lines, Line 10, the Olympic Line, and the Airport Line, opened at 2 pm today. Airport Line tickets will cost 25 yuan for a one year trial, after which a permanent price will be set. As a temporary security measure Line 8 will only be open to spectators holding tickets for that day and relevant workers- i.e. if you’re trying to take Line 8 on August 8 you better either have tickets for events on August 8 or work at the Olympics, otherwise you won’t be allowed on Line 8. Apparently trains on Line 10 will be spaced three and a half minutes apart, which is a slightly shorter gap than Line 5’s four minutes. Also, from tomorrow Line 13 will successively put six 6-car trains into service.

I think that’s all the main points of the article.

I note that Line 10 is referred to as 10号线一期- Phase One of Line 10- and the Olympic Line as 奥运支线(8号线一期)- Olympic Branch Line (Phase One of Line 8). I have no idea when those two lines are planned to be extended or in which directions. Oh, wait, here’s what looks like the official Beijing Subway website, and it has a map which….is very cool and quite useful but does not enlighten me about future expansion plans (and in a less useful feature, clicking on ‘English’ takes you straight back to the Chinese version of the map). But wait- for expansion plans this page might be more helpful. Get yourself a magnifying glass, though, those maps are not big. This one dated 2008 shows Line 10 expanded westward from Bagoucun to Huoqiying and curling southwest to join Line 5 at Songjiazhuang- although it’s drawn in a solid line from Guomao north then west round to Bagoucun, but a dotted line south then west from Guomao to Songjiazhuang. It also has a solid yellow line marked running southeast from Songjiazhuang to…. somewhere without a name, a solid red line marked M4 running north from Majiabao up the west side of the old city (it looks like it passes under Xinjiekou), hooking west through Xizhimen and Shouti, then swinging north again and running out to Beigongmen (hey, cool! That means it’ll be possible to take the subway to the Summer Palace!), and a line marked M9 in solid blue running south from Shouti to Beijing Xizhan (Beijing West Railway Station), then in dotted blue further south to Shijie Gongyuan (World Park? What is its English name?). It does not show any extension to Line 8 and seems to mark the Batong Line as being part of Line 1. 

This map dated 2015 shows a vastly expanded system which includes lines to Changping and Shunyi, southwest to Liangxiang and south to an unnamed place (presumably Daxing town). This map also shows a line running from what looks like Panjiayuan in a zigzag northwestwards across the central city, and then westwards parallel with Line 1, passing through Pingguoyuan after which it splits into S1 which looks like it runs to Mentougou town and S1支 which runs somewhere south of there.’s map is less than helpful. The rest I can’t see in enough detail to make any intelligent comment on, but it seems to have the central city fairly well covered- although there do seem to be fairly large gaps, and Yongdingmen seems to become a fairly major hub.


2 Responses to “good news”

  1. John Says:

    The Metro system has changed a lot since I was in Beijing. It was only Line 1 and Line 2 initially, and then Line 13, which opened in my last year there. I assume that there’s much more out along Line 13 these days than there was when I took a trip from Xizhimen to Dongzhimen one day.

    I’m not sure when the north-south line’s going to be operational in Chengdu, but I think there’s still quite a lot of work to be done before it’s ready, and it’s going to be a few years before the whole network is running.

    Meanwhile, here in London, I note that new Tube lines are under construction on the east side of the city, adding to the insane tangle of spaghetti that’s the Underground.

  2. wangbo Says:

    I distinctly remember spending a lot of time on Line 13 during your first year in Beijing. It was not too long afterwards that the Batong Line out to Tongzhou opened. During your last year in Beijing I was living 500 metres from its Liyuan station, and lzh and I spent a fair bit of time on the Batong Line- it was more convenient than the buses for getting out to Yanqing, and she was still at ErWai then, which is halfway between Tongzhou and downtown.

    Judging by the second of those two maps I found, Beijing is trying to emulate London by tying up its underground space in an insane tangle of spaghetti.