BYLINE: Louis Lee and Ka Ho Li

Parsons Brinckerhoff (Asia) Ltd

DESPITE MORE than 100 years of railway construction, the rapid growth of China’s rail and metro sectors means that the market is still in need of professionals to support the development of the industry in terms of a systems approach.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has been actively involved in the Chinese metro sector, with contracts ranging from the big-picture overview to involvement in specific projects.

In the 1990s, Shanghai Metro Corp decided to re-think its plan for Line 2, in order to serve the important, and fast-developing Pudong financial district. PB was brought in to test the proposals, comparing and assessing the costs of the various design options, using its Subway Environment Simulation program to estimate the air-conditioning and energy consumption requirements of the environmental control and traction power systems.

The firm’s most recent work in Shanghai has been on the Yang Pu Line, a 23 km route with 21 stations which is scheduled to begin operations by 2007. Shanghai Metro is the first metro builder in China, and only the second in the world after the originators in Japan, to use a double-tube boring technique, with a binocular-shaped Double-O-Tube TBM.

Whilst the advance rates of new and conventional TBMs are similar, the Double-O-Tube is smaller and more compact, reducing the cost of excavation and facilitating work under the very narrow streets of the Yang Pu district.

The project’s supervising engineer retained PB to provide staff training and technical support. In particular, technical expertise was sought for the launch and breakthrough of the TBM, as well as for grouting, design and fabrication of the segmental lining. PB also assisted with the construction of the sump and pumping station for three sections of Double-O-Tube tunnel totalling 2·7 km.

PB was also involved with Phase 1 of the Shenzhen Metro, covering the first stages of two routes. Line 1 runs east-west for 15 km serving 15 stations, from an interchange with the Kowloon-Canton Railway at the Luohu/Lo Wu boundary crossing to Shijiazhichuang. The first stage of Line 4 runs north-south for 4·5 km netween Shaoniangong and Fumin with five stations. From 2007 a southern extension of Line 4 to Huanggang will provide a second interchange with the new KCR station at Lok Ma Chau (RG 2.05 p74).

PB was responsible for undertaking system gap analysis, safety assessment, planning and management of system commissioning and operational drills with the provision of on-site technical support.

The consultancy is still active in Shenzhen, and is now working on Line 3. This is PB’s first opportunity to work with the Chinese Engineering Design Institute on a project from greenfield site to revenue operation. PB is providing programme and construction management services for Line 3, on which construction began towards the end of 2005. The line is scheduled to open for revenue service in 2009.

This is the first time in which an international consultancy has been contracted to assist in project management on a Chinese metro for the whole project cycle, allowing the client to benefit from recent advances in project management techniques.

CAPTION: The spacious stations on Shenzhen Line 1 are colour-coded to assist the passengers

CAPTION: Trains for Shenzhen Line 1 were assembled at Bombardier’s Hennigsdorf plant in Germany

CAPTION: A Shenzhen Metro Line 1 train leaves the depot

CAPTION: Double-O-Tube tunnel on Shanghai’s Yang Pu line