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Rail stations to be linked by metro line
By Liu Weifeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-28 00:59

Visitors to Beijing will soon find it easier to shuttle between the capital's two major railway stations, thanks to a new railway link plan, officials said.

The news was reported by the Beijing Daily and confirmed to China Daily by the Ministry of Railways.

"The feasibility report has been completed and the design work for the line is being undertaken," said Wang Ming, an official with the planning department of the ministry.

Construction of a 9.16-kilometre-long underground transit line, connecting the Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station is very likely to take place by the end of this year, said a source close to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The move is to ease on-ground transportation tension in the city's central area.

The two railway stations, one located south of Tian'anmen Square, right on the metro's loop line, another standing by one of the metro line, are in the urban centre.

Tens of thousands of passengers commute between the two stations every year, most of whom are migrant workers and long-distance travelers from the north of China to the south.

Because train transfers always take place at different stations, a national long-distance traveller arriving at Beijing Railway Station may very often have to commute to Beijing West Railway Station to depart on the second leg of a trip.

"I'm delighted to hear the news. It means I can finish the transfer between the two stations in just a few minutes," said Lu Yuan, a student at Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sun University.

A native of Jilin Province, Northeast China, Lu said the transfer procedure between home and campus every vocation season was complicated.

About 2.08 billion yuan (US$253.6 million) will be allocated for the project, with each kilometre costing about 200 million yuan (US$24 million).

Seventy-two pairs of trains are set to run on the track each day by 2010, and another 13 pairs are expected to be added to the daily running schedule by 2015.

The construction is set to be completed by 2008.

In another development, with the construction of an electromagnetic train line starting soon, local residents will find it much easier to travel to the airport from their urban homes.

The 27-kilometre line, linking Dongzhimen station on the loop line of the metro with Capital International Airport, will shorten the trip to about 15 minutes.

It takes at least half an hour for Beijingers to drive to the airport now.

According to Liu Zhiyuan, general manager with China Railway Electrification Bureau (Group), the project is co-sponsored by five related companies, with investment of about 5 billion yuan (US$600 million).

It should also be in use by 2008.

(China Daily 01/28/2005 page3)

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