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Shanghai trams make a welcome comeback
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Trams are making a comeback to Shanghai after a 30-year absence.

Construction of a tram line started in the Zhangjiang High-tech Park in Pudong New Area yesterday morning. The line is expected to ease traffic congestion, city officials said.

The tram route of about 10 kilometers will link Zhangjiang High-tech Park Metro Station on Line 2 to Jinqiu Road of the Zhangjiang Semiconductor Industry Park.

Fifteen stations will be built along the route to connect major office buildings, research institute venues, universities and living areas in the park.

The distance between each station will average 620 meters and traveling time between each station is expected to be about eight minutes.

The line will run daily from 6 am to 9 pm.

The system will be different from traditional trams.

The tram line in Zhangjiang has only one track and engines run on rubber wheels. The trams are designed to reach speeds of 70 kilometers per hour, with a passenger volume of up to 167 people.

Total budget of the first-phase line construction will reach 600 million yuan. But cost of a tram car is only a quarter of that of a subway car, according to early reports.

Officials said the line is expected to be open to the public at the end of next year, which is the 100th anniversary of the city's first tram line.

(Shanghai Daily December 24, 2007)

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