BEIJING METRO Corp announced in March that it was starting work on a network-wide upgrading and renovation programme ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Costed at 4·3bn yuan, the package includes replacement of track, trains, signalling and communications equipment on Lines 1 and 2, parts of which are now approaching 30 years old. A new smart card based fare collection system will also be introduced by the end of 2007, covering all metro lines in the Chinese capital.

In total 52·2 km of track will be relaid. Around 180 trainsets will be replaced with new air-conditioned stock, and the signalling renewal will allow peak headways to be cut from 3min to 2·5min.

  • Hong Kong’s MTR Corp, Beijing Capital Group and Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co have initialled the formal PPP concession agreement with Beijing Municipal Government to equip and operate Line 4, although this is still subject to approval by the National Development & Reform Commission.

    The 29 km route between Majialou and Longbeicun will be the capital’s principal north-south metro line, serving 24 stations. Civil engineering has been underway since October 2003. The PPP concessionaires will provide the rolling stock and other E&M systems and operate the line. Total cost of Line 4 is put at 15·3bn yuan, of which the city will fund around 70%.