Last underground mile to Olympics operational

Updated: 2008-07-28 20:08


BEIJING - Beijing kicked off on Monday the operation of its metro transport artery leading to the central Olympic areas, which for the time being exclusively serves Olympic accredited card or ticket holders.

Volunteers from the United States take the Olympic Line of Beijing Subway, July 28, 2008. Beijing kicked off on Monday the operation of its metro transport artery leading to the central Olympic areas. [Xinhua]

The 4.5-km new subway line is aimed at alleviating the huge personnel flows during the Olympic Games from August 8 to 24. The Olympic Line starts from the Olympic Forest Park and runs southbound to Olympic Green, Olympic Sports Center and Beitucheng, at which the new line merges with the city's subway network.

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With traditional architecture and ancient-like art forms, the landscape above the subway line is unique and impressively Chinese. However, walking the full route demands quite a little time and energy.

In the days to come, the rectangular area with about four square kilometers will be, sometimes, the most densely populated area -- with the National Stadium, the National Aquatics Center, the National Indoor Stadium and the National Convention Center for sports events; the Olympic Green for leisure; and the Forest Park for more fresh air and water views.

Thus, the subway route is an alternative solution to transportation. According to a subway staff worker, 20 pairs of trains are sufficient to carry at most 28,800 passengers per hour.

The tight security will resemble that when people check in for a flight. Water is not allowed in and laptops are required to be turned on, no matter how slow the machines run into operation.

"We have to make sure your laptop is a real one, not anything else," said Wang Lei, a policeman who enforced the under-noticed regulations at one subway checkpoint.

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