the Yanqing train is open!

August 6th, 2008

Excellent news: The new S2 train from Xizhimen/Beijing North Station to Yanqing is now open. The first train was scheduled for 11:08 this morning. 新京报/The Beijing News’ Zuo Lin reports:


First suburban rail line S2 tickets 19 yuan


It will take 80 minutes to ride the train set with power car from Beijing North to Yanqing

Yes, alright, ‘suburban rail’ is not necessarily the best translation, but ‘commuter train‘ isn’t necessarily any better considering the price and the fact it’s only faster than the bus if the bus gets stuck in traffic on the Badaling Expressway. The bus costs 12 yuan or something like 9.4 yuan if you use the Yikatong swipe card. And that headline is a little deceiving….


S2 line ticket prices have been decided: Second class tickets for the whole distance are 19 yuan, first class tickets are 23 yuan. This line from Beijing North Station to Yanqing is the first suburban rail line in China, and at 11:08 this morning, the first S2 train carrying ordinary passengers left Beijing North.


Discount tickets in the initial period

铁路部门昨日消息,S2线动车组票价确定,一等坐席全程票价25元,初期采用折扣票价23元;二等坐席票价21元,初期采用折扣票价19元。北 京北至八达岭一等车初期票价为17元,二等车为14元。至于何时开始采用正式票价,铁路部门未做透露。由于有简短的开通仪式,今天,S2线首辆载普通乘客 的列车将在上午11点08分开出。

The railways department yesterday reported that the ticket prices for the S2 line trains had been decided. First class seats for the whole journey are 25 yuan, but are discounted to 23 yuan over the initial period; second class seats are 21 yuan discounted to 19 yuan over the initial period. First class tickets from Beijing North to Badaling over the initial period are 17 yuan, and second class tickets 14 yuan. The railways department did not reveal when the ticket prices would be put up to the regular level. Because their would be a brief opening ceremony today, the first S2 train carrying ordinary passengers would depart at 11:08 am.

S2线全长82公里,是国内首条城市铁路,今天开通时,列车将挂“Y”字头旅客专列车号,全天开行8对,计划以后每天增开2对,至10日达到全 天开行16对。列车最小发车间隔34分钟,最大间隔1小时33分钟。全程运行时间在80分钟左右,而原先的绿皮车行程耗时2小时38分钟,几乎是现在的一 倍。

 S2 Line is 82 kilometres in length, and is the first suburban rail line in China. When it opens today, the train will hang a “Y”as a special tourist train. There will be 8 trains over the whole day, and it is planned to later add two more trains per day until the 10th when there will be 16 trains per day. The shortest gap between trains is 34 minutes, and the longest is 1 hour 33 minutes. It will take 80 minutes to run the whole route, while the original green trains took 2 hours 38 minutes, almost twice as long as the modern trains.


Ticket agencies started selling tickets night before last


At 8 yesterday morning tickets for the S2 line went on sale inside Beijing North Station, and tickets for today’s first train had all sold out by 4 pm. It is reported that all train ticket agencies in Beijing quietly started selling tickets the evening before last. Zhang Hui had the good fortune to buy ticket number 001 for the first train from a train ticket agency in Zuojiazhuang that evening.


Yesterday Beijing South Station started selling tickets at the same time. According to Mr Liu who went to the South Station yesterday, the S2 tickets sold at the South Station are not the same as the regular pink paper tickets sold at normal agencies, but are magnetic tickets which resemble the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity train’s magnetic tickets.


S2 Line


With Beijing North Station as its starting point, it stops at Qinghuayuan, Qinghe, Shahe, Changping, and Badaling, reaching its terminus at Yanqing Station.


First train leaves Beijing North Station at 6:08, reaches Badaling at 7:07, arrives at Yanqing at 7:27; last train leaves Beijing North Station at 21:27, does not stop en route, goes directly to Yanqing arriving at 22:41.

 Now that’s all well and good, and I like the relatively late last train heading Yanqingwards (I’m having no luck finding a timetable, so I have no idea how late the last train from Yanqing is, but that may, perhaps, bring one more advantage over the bus), but that’s still twice as expensive as the bus. Is it worth it? Well, I’d like to try it once just to see, and if we could know in advance the state of the traffic on the Badaling Expressway, it might prove a good way of dodging the traffic jams, but otherwise…. it’s twice as expensive as the bus!

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