Test runs begin on 3 transit rail lines in Beijing

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Beijing began test runs on three transit rail lines -- the Yanfang line, line S1 and the Western Suburban line -- on Sept. 20. The three transit lines are scheduled to open within the year.

The three transit lines mark Beijing's achievements in many areas of public transportation technology. The Yanfang line is the first in the Chinese mainland to exclusively use domestic technology, and it is capable of fully automated operations. It is not only self-driving and cockpit-free, but also smart enough to conduct self maintenance of the entire rail line, including full system analysis, automated departure from the station, and the opening and closing of its doors.

With a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour, the Yanfang line will be equipped with four-car-sized trains that can carry a maximum of 960 passengers at a time. The line with a length of 16.6 kilometers will stop at nine stations. The line will boost the development of southern Beijing's Yanshan and Fangshan.

Line S1 is the first medium-to-low speed maglev line in Beijing with a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour. The train for the line is six-car sized and 89.6 meters long with a capacity of 950 passengers. Ten trains will be put into service when the line opens to the public. The line is expected to better connect western Beijing and the downtown area.

The Western Suburban line is the first modern tram line in Beijing with a total length of about nine kilometers in between six stations. Its trams are allowed a maximum speed of 70 kilometers. Currently, Beijing has two more tram lines under construction: the Yizhuang T1 line and the Shunyi T2 line.

By the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan in 2020, Beijing will boast a rail transit network enabling various transportation choices including the subway, light rail lines, maglev lines, urban trams, as well as urban fast rail lines.

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