CHINA: The World Bank has approved a US$300m loan towards the US$1·7bn construction of Kunming metro Line 3. The loan is intended to support ‘compact, transit-oriented urban development by providing high quality, integrated public transport on the East-West Line 3 corridor’.

The 19·5 km underground line will start at the depot in Shizui in southwest Kunming and cross the city along Chunyu road to the proposed Fangmaqiao stabling facility in the east, with 17 stations. A fleet of 24 six-car trains will be required. The project broke ground in August 2010 and completion is envisaged in 2016.

The World Bank considers Kunming to be an ideal partner ‘to demonstrate the principles critical to the design and operation of a successful, sustainable urban rail system as a catalyst for compact growth’.

Construction of Kunming metro lines 1 and 2 began in May 2010. Line 1 will be 34 km long, linking Kunming city centre to the Kunming Radio & Television University in Chenggong New City, while Line 2 will run from north to south, connecting the North Bus Station with Fubao. Both lines should be completed in early 2013. A six-line network totalling 162·6 km is ultimately envisaged.