'Crash' train line back to normal

Updated: 2011-10-10 10:06

By Shi Jing (China Daily)

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'Crash' train line back to normal

Fewer passengers are on board than usual after subway Line 10 in Shanghai lifted the speed limit and resumed normal operations on Sunday. Two trains on the line collided on Sept 27, injuring nearly 300 passengers. [Photo/China Daily]

SHANGHAI - The speed limit on Shanghai subway's Line 10 was lifted on Sunday morning after a rear-end crash on Sept 27, which injured nearly 300 passengers, led to the introduction of speed restrictions.

The line ran smoothly on Sunday, said Yin Wei, deputy director of the Shanghai metro operation management center.

"Although today is the second working day after the National Day holiday, some people are still off today because it is Sunday," said Yin. "So the real challenge will be tomorrow, not only for Line 10 but for the whole metro system."

A worker at Laoximen Station on Line 10, who declined to give his name due to disciplinary reasons, told China Daily the line ran smoothly on Sunday.

"Actually, the passenger flow was not reduced even during the period shortly after the crash, which indicates that Shanghai residents are quite confident about the subway system," he said.

Although the speed limit has been lifted, the Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, which operates Line 10, said that for safety reasons two people were stationed for key posts such as the driver and controller.

The subway line resumed operations on Sept 28, running at an imposed speed limit of 45 km an hour instead of the average of 60 km an hour used on Shanghai's subway.

Liang Yadong, a sales manager from the Shanghai branch of Gold Hongye Paper, said he took Line 10 on Sunday afternoon after he learned that the metro line had returned to its previous speed that morning.

"I seldom took Line 10 in the past," Liang said. "I came here today especially to check the current operation of the line. Although the volume of passengers is not as big as expected, it may be because I came here at lunch time and not at peak time."

Liang said the crash had not persuaded him to avoid taking the subway.

"It was a serious accident, but the Shanghai subway authorities responded quickly and came up with effective measures. I think it's safe to take the subway now," he said.

For many who work in the Lujiazui financial district in the eastern part of Shanghai, Line 10 is more comfortable than Line 8, which is usually crammed with people during rush hours.

"People on Line 8 and Line 10 can transfer to Line 2 and get to Lujiazui, but I still prefer Line 10 even after the crash," said a female financial analyst surnamed Wu who works in Lujiazui.

"It's more comfortable. It takes me more than an hour to travel from home to the office by bus."

But the crash has had some influence on her behavior.

"I never held the handrail in the past. But after the crash, I grasp it as firmly as I can," Wu said.

The Shanghai Shentong Metro Group admitted that train operators failed to follow proper procedure while operating the trains manually, resulting in the crash.

Twelve people were removed from their posts or demoted over the accident, investigators said on Oct 6.

The Shanghai subway authorities announced recently that they will carry out a thorough investigation into security risks, screening out faults in facilities and operational procedures.

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