CHINA: The latest metro line in Beijing opened on the last day of 2016. Line 16 is the fourth in the capital to be operated by Beijing MTR Corp, and the opening of the first phase brings the metro network to 574 route-km with 19 lines.

The 19·6 km northern section runs underground from Xiyuan on Line 4 to Beianhe. There are nine stations, with a further station due to open in mid-2017. Services run at 8 min headways, and ridership is forecast at 80 000 passenger-journeys per day.

Construction started in 2013, with test running without passengers commencing on September 20. Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corp is the civil works contractor, with the Beijing MTR Corp joint venture of MTR Corp (49%), Beijing Capital Group (49%) and Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corp (2%) responsible for railway systems, rolling stock, as well as 30 years of operations and maintenance under a PPP concession agreement.

Line 16 is the first in Beijing to use 8A trainsets. These consist of six powered and two unpowered cars, and have capacity for 2 480 passengers, or 3 560 under crush load conditions. Stabled at a depot at the northern end of the line, 35 trainsets are being supplied by CRRC Changchun and 29 by CRRC Qingdao Sifang. The full 49·8 km route from Beianhe to Wanping Town with 29 stations is scheduled to open in 2018.

  • December 31 also saw the opening of Wangjing East station on Line 15 and Chaoyang Park station on Line 14.