CONSTRUCTION work began in January on the 27·3 km metro line to Beijing Capital International Airport, which is due to be completed in June 2008.

Expected to cost 5·4bn yuan, the line is being built by a consortium of five Chinese companies. It will start from an interchange with Beijing Metro Lines 2 and 13 at Dongzhimen and run to Terminals 2 and 3 at the airport. The line will be operated with linear-motored trainsets running at up to 100 km/h, with an anticipated journey time of 16min. The link is expected to carry 4500 passengers/h at peak times, with trains operating for 15h per day.

The airport link is one of five metro lines expected to open in the next five years, according to the head of Beijing’s Municipal Transport Committee, Zhao Wenzhi. He confirmed in January that 60% of the capital’s investment spending during 2006-10 will go on transport projects, with the metro expanding from 115 km to 270 km.

Work is already well advanced on Lines 4, 5 and 10, with tunnelling work on Line 5 completed at the end of December. Tracklaying on the 27·6 km route which links Songjiazhuang to Taipingzhuangbei is to be completed in September, with revenue services expected to start by mid-2007.