CHINA: Nanning’s fifth metro line was opened for revenue service on December 16.

Designed for unattended train operation to Grade of Automation 4, the 20·2 km line looping around the western side of the city centre links Jinqiao Coach Station in the northeast to Guokai Dadao in the south. It has 17 stations, including six interchanges with other metro lines.

Authorised by the National Development & Reform Commission in March 2017, Line 5 has been under construction since September of that year.

The line is worked by a fleet of 24 six-car Type B trainsets running at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. Each train is designed to carry 1 464 passengers, including 232 seated, and has a crush load of 2 080.

As well as the train operations, automation has been extended to many of the depot activities, which the metro operator Nanning Rail Transit anticipates will reduce the time that trains spend in the depot for servicing and maintenance by approximately 50%.

Following an open bidding contest for the advertising rights on the new line, NRT awarded a three-year concession to Guangxi Guangju Culture Communication Co in October.

Under a 15-year master plan approved by the municipal government in July, the city is looking to expand the network to 13 lines by 2035. Formed of both cross-city and orbital routes, the network would have eight conventional and five express metro lines totalling 592·6 route-km, of which 429·4 km would serve the main urban area. These would serve total of 307 stations including 147 interchanges. Metro development is to be integrated with urban land planning and development, linking the city’s principal districts with the airport and new satellite townships.