cn Qingdao metro passengers

CHINA: The northern section of Qingdao metro Line 1 and the first phase of Line 8 opened for revenue service on December 24, adding almost 70 km to the city’s expanding urban rail network.

The initial 21·5 km section of Line 1 runs north from an interchange with Line 3 at Qingdao Bei high speed station to Dongguozhuang, serving 15 stations. It connects at Qingdao Agricultural University with the suburban Chenyang tram line.

cn Qingdao metro

Designed for 100 km/h operation, the line was authorised by the National Development & Reform Commission in November 2013, and construction began in October 2015.

Local manufacturer CRRC Qingdao Sifang Line is supplying a fleet of 67 six-car Type B1 trainsets for Line 1. Each train has capacity for 1 900 passengers including 248 seated. The first full day of operation on December 25 saw the initial section carrying a reported 44 000 passengers.

Construction is already underway on the next phase of the line, continuing south from Qingdao Bei through the city centre and then under Jiaozhou Bay to Wangjiagang. Once this has been completed, the northernmost section of the current route between Xingguo Road and Dongguozhuang is due to be hived off as part of a separate Line 7, the rest of which is still at the planning stage.

December 24 also saw the opening of the first part of phase of Line 8. This runs west from Qingdao Bei to Jiaozhou Bei Railway Station, with a total length of 48·3 km and 11 stations. From Qingdao Bei the line passes under the northern part of Jiaozhou Bay in a 5·4 km tunnel at a depth of 56 m below sea level. At a total length of 7·9 km including the access ramps, this is currently the longest metro sea crossing in China. Most of the line runs below ground, but there is a 6·4 km section on viaduct with one elevated station.

cn Qingdao metro trains

Line 8 was approved by NDRC in April 2016, and tunnelling began in March 2017. The undersea tunnel was finished on January 20 2020. A seven-station extension still under construction will continue the route east and south from Qingdao Bei to an interchange with lines 2 and 3 at Wusi Guangchang east of the old city centre.

CRRC Qingdao Sifang has supplied a fleet of 120 km/h trainsets for Line 8, which is currently operating a 10 min interval service as befits its outer suburban location. Ridership in the first few days of service was reported to be averaging 20 500 passengers/day.