China / Society

Revolution of Beijing subway

( Updated: 2014-08-19 19:06

The plan to build a subway system in Beijing began in 1953. The project, Subway Line 1, started in 1965 and was completed in 1969. It was the first metro in China. By May 2014, Beijing had 17 operating railway lines totaling 467 kilometers (excluding line S2), with 231 stations. The subway system, covering 11 districts, welcomes 10 million passengers per workday and about 11.55 million on peak days. Billed as the busiest urban railway system in China, it also claims three tops in operating time, passenger capacity and the number of departures in rush hours.

Big events in Beijing subway:

The official website Beijing Subway launched on Sep 15, 2004.

The installation of barrier-free structures on Subway Line 1 and Line 2 were finished on Oct 16, 2004.

The new type of air-conditioned trains was put into use on the Batong Line before May 1, 2005. The old trains adopted natural ventilation instead of air-conditioning.

Mobile TV took on a first appearance by broadcasting successfully on Line 13 on Oct 9, 2005.

Monthly service passes dedicated to the railway system officially ended Nov 1, 2007.

Beijing subway launched its auto-ticket-selling system on Jun 9, 2008, ending the 38-year history of paper tickets.

Beijing railway initiated security checks on Jun 29, 2008, the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and continued with it from then on.

On Aug 8, 2008, the day the Beijing Olympics kicked off, Beijing railway (excluding the Airport Line) provided around-the-clock service. The departure of the first train on the Olympic Branch Line at 4:38 am symbolized the 45-hour non-stop operation for Beijing railway system for the first time, breaking the record of the longest operating time since its introduction in 1969.

Subway Line 4, the second north-to-south traffic artery after Line 5, opened to the public on Sep 28, 2009.

Beijing railway set a record by transporting 11.05 million people on a single day of March 8, 2013, ranking the first in usage rate in the world for the first time.

On Nov 13, 2013, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport announced that screen doors would be installed in all stations along Line 13 and the Batong Line before the end of 2013.

On May 22, 2014, the 11th session of the 14th Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress discussed the "Safety Rules of Beijing Railway Transport (draft)". The Urban Construction and Environmental Protection Commission of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress suggested adding three rules to prohibit eating, begging and distributing advertisements.

The first batch of "unmanned" trains will be unveiled on the Yanfang Line by the end of next year. The so-called "unmanned" train means the train can run automatically, with a set of actions to stop or depart without the intervention of driver or crew members.

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