The Beijing subway's Line 6 is scheduled to begin operating by the end of the year after undergoing more than two years' construction, metro authorities said over the weekend.
Passengers will first be able to travel Line 6, which will run from Wuluju in Haidian district in the west of the city to Caofang in Chaoyang district in the east, on Dec 28. Among its many benefits, the new line is expected to alleviate traffic congestion, according to the Line 6 project department of the China Railway Tunnel Group.
"It's believed subway Line 6, with its greater space for passengers and faster speed, will lead to smoother passenger flow during rush hours," said Wu Wenjie, deputy director of the department.
Wu said the line is now being put through various tests.
"We need to make sure everything is working well, from the subway's signal system to the elevators," Wu said. "We can't tolerate any negligence or carelessness, especially in the project's final phase."
The line will connect 20 stations and be able to accommodate 1,960 people in a single run. That's more than can be carried in a single trip on any of the city's current subway lines.
Line 6 will also be the fastest in the city's subway system, capable of reaching a speed of 100 km an hour.
"Subway Line 6 will far exceed the current high speed of 80 km per hour (in the Beijing subway system)," Wu said. "It will only take 48 minutes to travel the whole line, in part because the stations it connects are pretty far apart from each other."
The longest distance between two consecutive stations on the line is 4,001 meters, according to the department.
Beyond capacity and speed, Line 6 will connect to the deepest station in the capital's underground transport system.
The line's connection to the existing Dongsi station, where Line 5 now goes, will lie 34 meters underground, the department said.
Nearly 235 wells have been dug around the station to prevent water from seeping into it. All of them are 142 meters deep and 1 meter in diameter, according to Zhuo Linjian, technical supervisor of the Line 6 project department of the China Railway Tunnel Group.
"The construction team has overcome lots of the difficulties that arise from complicated underground geological conditions," he said.
(China Daily 11/26/2012 page4)