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Subway to Beijing airport blocked
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Service on the airport express subway route in Beijing stopped temporarily on Saturday when a maintenance vehicle accidentally blocked the line.

The vehicle, used for daily rail inspections, broke down on the tracks around midnight Friday. Trains have already stopped operating at that time and are scheduled to start service until 6 a.m..

The subway company, however, didn't get the vehicle repaired until 3:40 p.m. Saturday.

The Beijing municipal transportation administration bureau summoned more than 50 buses and some taxis to carry passengers from Dongzhimen station to the airport.

Posters were also put up in metro stations and a warning was broadcast to passengers to use other transportation to get to the airport.

The express line carries an estimated 16,000 to 22,000 people a day.

It opened this past July, shortening the travel time from Dongzhimen to the Beijing Capital International Airport to just 16 minutes. That's half the amount of time it takes by shuttle bus.

No word yet on why the maintenance vehicle broke down.

(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2008)

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