Guangzhou metro.

CHINA: The end of December has always been a popular time for metro inaugurations in China and December 2009 was no exception.

Guangzhou metro Line 5 and a short extension of Line 4 opened for revenue service on December 29, following an official ceremony the previous day, increasing the city’s network to 150 km and 88 stations. The 32 km 24-station Line 5 crosses the city from Jiaokou in the west to Wenchong in the east, with interchanges to all four existing lines. Line 4 has been extended north from Wanshengwei to connect to Line 5 at Chebeinan.

December 30 saw further additions to Shanghai’s rapidly expanding network, with the start of services on Line 11 and the second phase of Line 9. Shanghai Shentong Group plans to operate both routes between 09.00 and 16.00 for an initial three-month trial period before extending the operating hours to 05.30 – 23.00.

The first phase of Line 11 links Jiading in northwest Shanghai to Jiangsu Road in the city centre, serving 16 stations. The line is worked using 12 six-car Type A trainsets supplied by CSR Zhuzhou, which have a maximum speed of 100 km/h and will cover the 33 km from Jiading to Jiangsu Road in 50 min. A branch from Jiading Xincheng to Anting is still under construction.

Line 9 has been extended by 12 km from Yishan Road, crossing metro lines 1, 7 and 8, to terminate at Century Avenue which becomes a major interchange offering connections to lines 2, 4 and 6. Visitors for the 2010 World Expo will be able to change at Madang Road station and take the future Line 13 to the Expo sites in Puxi and Pudong.

Shanghai now has a 10-line metro network totalling 330 km and 221 stations, and further inaugurations are expected in the run-up to the World Expo which opens on May 1.