August 13th, 2008

And in further proof that the numbering of Beijing’s subway, light rail and suburban rail lines has nothing to do with the order in which they were constructed (as if such proof were necessary), 新京报/The Beijing News’ Yang Huayun reports that line S1 from the central city to Mentougou will begin construction next year.

I will refrain from marking a snarky remark on the state of New Zealand journalism. Let’s just say that those Kiwi journalists in China right now really should just stick to the sports lest some halfway intelligent non-Kiwi stumbles across their other articles (and blogs so dire you wonder where journalists grow the gall to sneer at us mere bloggers) and the world pisses itself laughing. I mention this because that Beijing News report seems to stem from the same press junket that produced a marginally less awful than normal article in the New Zealand press.

Anyway, here it is:


Work on city’s suburban S1 Line to start next year


Following the Beijing to Yanqing S2 suburban rail line’s opening, Beijing Municipality’s secong suburban rail line- S1 Line from the city area to Mentougou- is planned to begin construction next year. Yesterday, vice chairman of the Beijing Municipal Transport Committee Zhou Zhengyu divulged this information on the visit to the S2 line organised for local and foreign reporters yesterday.


Zhou Zhengyu said that according to the plan, the S1 would start at the West Fourth Ring Road’s Dinghui Qiao North 5th Road, where it would join the subway Line 6, and its terminus would be in Mentougou’s central district, initially planned to be at Shimenying. As demolitions and relocations along the line would be relatively few, S1 Line would hopefully be completed within 40 months.  In response to more specific questions as to the location and construction of stations along the line, Zhou Zhengyu said such matters were still being considered.


Regarding the S2 Line already opened, yesterday Zhou Zhengyu said that after the Olympics S2 Line would take one more step in raising speeds and begin a second phase of the renovation project. The speed would be raised from the current 120 km/h to 160 km/h, and the number of stations along the line would be raised to 14.


Regarding the price of S2 Line tickets, Zhou Zhengyu admitted that the price was a bit high for Yanqing residents. He said they were considering a programme of favourable treatment for Yanqing residents to lower the transport costs of those residents of Yanqing who worked in the downtown area. As for what kind of beneficial methods and prices would be adopted, Zhou Zhengyu said that it had not yet been decided, but monthly tickets and discounts were being considered.


Zhou Zhengyu also revealed that in order to facilitate changing between suburban rail and light rail, Beijing would research the feasibility of using the municipal transport Yikatong on suburban rail lines.

 And looking over that, I’m thinking I should stay off the 海岛黑啤 while translating….

Anyways, that’s all good news, but I can’t help but think- isn’t the subway Line 1 terminus at Pingguoyuan awfully close to Mentougou? Shouldn’t it be as simple as either extending Line 1 westwards or adding a Batong Line-style light rail extension? And when is Line 6 scheduled to open begin construction, anyway?

I’m glad, though, that they’re reviewing the prices of S2 tickets. I mean, at twice the cost of the bus, why would anyone bother? Apart from to avoid traffic on the Badaling Expressway, of course…. But once they’ve finished the renovation/reconstruction/building of the new truck ‘lane’ on the G110, the traffic should be back to something reasonable. And if they can link it up with light rail- Line 13, I presume- then that will make S2 far, far more attractive and convenient to people who don’t live or work in northern Haidian.


2 Responses to “S1”

  1. Ben Ross Says:

    Speaking of the numbering system, does anybody know how Line 13 came to be Line 13…they had Line 1, Line 2, Batong Line, and then…13? Is there some logic I am missing?

  2. wangbo Says:

    No idea, but Line 5 opened only last year. I’m missing the logic, too. So far as I can tell, all the missing lines- 3,4, 6-9, 11,12 and whatever else, are planned and may even soon begin construction. I also find it interesting that two lines get names instead of numbers- Airport and Batong. Especially the Batong, considering that’s little more than an extension of Line 1 (and I really do think they should’ve just run it as an extension of Line 1 right from the get-go, but nobody listens to me, least of all my students, and they pay for the privilege).