Whether in anticipation of the future Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei megacity, or trying to stay one step ahead of its southern rival, Shanghai, Beijing has ambitious plans for the city’s subway system. This year, the city plans to unveil an unprecedented 15 new subway lines. While some of the 15 are actually extensions to existing lines, the expansion will result in a total of 334 stations over 18 lines, measuring 554 kilometers in length.
To help explain the expansion, we’ve created a breakdown. Firstly, we’ll look at two lines which only recently opened.
Initially opening last summer, the second stage of Line 14 will extend south from Jintailu Station at Line 6, and connect with Shilihe Station on Line 10. The line will then head westward towards Beijing South Railway Station on Line 4. When the two sections are complete, a trip from Wangjing Station to Beijing South Railway will take just 45 minutes. However, there will still be no transfer point with the Airport Express Line.
Changping Line, Stage Two
The second stage of the Changping Line in the northwestern area of the city will add an additional six stations to the existing line that already connects with Line 8 and Line 13. The line will extend west, and include a stop at the Ming Tombs.
Western Suburb Line (Xijiao Line)
The Western Suburb Line will begin at Bagou Station on Line 10 (in the northwest) and serve as a feeder line towards suburbs to the west, making a stop at Fragrant Hill Park.
S1 Maglev Line
In the making since 2011, the Maglev line will start at Pingguoyuan Station on Line 1, and make its way south-west. Trains on the line are expected to handle as many as 1,032 passengers at once.
The Yanfang Line will be Beijing Metro’s first “unmanned subway”. Trains on the Yanfang Line are expected to reach 80 kilometers per hour and take 1,262 passengers at once.
Line 3, Stage One
Line 3 was neglected due to planning for Line 6, which took over Nanluoguxiang and Dongsi stations, both of which were originally planned for Line 3. Now that Line 6 is just about done, Line 3 is stepping out. The line will start its route at Dongsi Shitiao Station on Line 2. Heading north-east, the line will serve the eastern suburbs of Beijing, and will pass through Tuanjiehu Station, near the expat hotspot of Sanlitun.
This north-south line will relieve pressure on Line 5. Line 17 will have a total of ten transfer stations, including Yong’anli Station on Line 1, Dongdaqiao Station on Line 6, and Taiyanggong Station on Line 10.
Airport Express for “Beijing New Airport” (South)
Although Beijing’s new airport doesn’t open until 2019, a new express line is expected to be unveiled soon that will connect the “Beijing New Airport” with the central subway network. The express line will serve the airport’s two terminals and then end in a transfer point at Caoqiao Station on Line 10 to the south of the city.
The 80 billion yuan investment will be located 46 kilometers away from Tian’anmen Square, and combined with the existing Beijing Airport, will serve 150 million passengers a year.
See Also: New Beijing Airport to Open in 2019
Line 8, Stage 3
This north-south line will also relieve pressure on Line 5. Stage 3 of Line 8 will start at Wangfujing Station on Line 1, head south to Qianmen Station on Line 2, then Dahongmen Station on Line 10, and then further to the south and east.
When complete, lucky Line 8 will serve as the central north-south axis of the Beijing Metro, similar to the way Line 1 is the central east-west axis for the network.
This ambitious line will be 29 kilometers long and, with Line 13, will have the most transfer stations of any subway line. Line 12 will alleviate pressure on Line 2 and Line 10, running east-west just to the north of Line 2. It will make stops at Renmin University on Line 4, Dazhongsi Station on the west side of Line 13, Anhuaqiao Station on Line 8, Heping Xiqiao Station on Line 5, Guangximen Station on the east side of Line 13, and also Sanyuanqiao Station on Line 10 and the Airport Express.
Fangshan Line, North Extension
Already in place, and serving as an extension to Line 9, the new Fangshan Line extension will continue four stations north of Guogongzhuang Station.
Line 19 will start at Xingong Station on Line 4 to the south of the city, and then head up through Caoqiao Station on Line 10, Ping’anli Station on Line 4 and 6, and Jishuitan Station on Line 2 before continuing further to the north.
Line 19 is said to eventually be the fastest line in the city, reaching speeds in excess of 100 kilometer per hour.
Line 7, East Extension
With Line 7 currently operating just to the south of Line 2, this east-west line will open an extension to the east, continuing outward from the current terminal, Jiaohuachang Station.
Airport Express, Dongzhimen Extension
Beijing’s existing Airport Express will get an extension that will head westward from Dongzhimen Station towards Beixinqiao Station on Line 5.
This north-south line will connect with the National Library Station on Lines 9 and 4, Muxidi Station on Line 1, and Daguanying Station on Line 7 before traveling to the western reaches of the city.
Line 6, Western Extension
Line 6 will continue to stretch east and west connecting to Pingguoyuan Station on Line 1. However, the extension will not connect with the rest of Line 6 at Haidianwuluju Station.
At 70 km long, the Pinggu Line is a completely above-ground subway, modeled on train lines used in the Pearl River Delta. Trains on the Pingu Line should reach speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour. Starting from Dongfeng Beiqiao Station on Line 14 in the city’s east, this suburban line will extend eastward before looping towards the north.
From the end of the line in the east, a commuter should be able to reach the center of downtown Beijing within one hour.