An update on the progress of Kunming's urban rail network was released Monday at a meeting held by the Kunming Rail Transit Planning and Construction Group (昆明轨道交通有限公司). The date of completion for Line 1, running from Xichang Lu to Chenggong, has again been pushed back, China Daily is reporting.
People in Kunming got their first taste of urban railway travel this summer when an abbreviated section of Line 6 opened up, connecting Kunming Changshui International Airport to the city's East Bus Station. Those hoping for the quick completion of additional metro lines will have to wait a bit longer.
Line 1 of the city subway will debut this year on New Year's Eve but only the southern section will be completed. This so-called "phase one" will run between the University Town station (大学城) in Kunming's far south to Xiaodongcun (晓东村). Located near Wujiaba Airport, the Xiaodongcun station sits at the intersection of Changhong Xi Lu (昌宏西路) and Guanyu Lu (关雨路).
Trains traveling this route will pass through the southern part of Chenggong and stop at 10 stations along the way, including one at Luosiwan International Trade City.
Each station will have automated ticket machines as well as bathrooms, elevators for the disabled, bilingual signs and safety doors to prevent people from getting onto the tracks, according to the China Daily report.
During phase one there will be a total of 16 trains available for service along the 22-kilometer track. During peak hours 12 of those trains will be operational, while the other four will be used for maintenance and as backups. Trains will run daily at six-and-a-half minute intervals from 7am until 9pm.
The urban rail project officially broke ground more than two years ago. It is scheduled to be completed by 2018 but has been beset by repeated postponements. Lines 1 and 2 were previously planned to open simultaneously this summer before it was announced completion would be pushed back to 2013.
With no current news regarding Line 2, GoKunming spoke with Valentin Bardoux, who works in Kunming for the French transportation firm Alstom Transport. Alstom is currently working with Chinese company CASCO to design and implement the subway's signal and control systems.
Bardoux confirmed that phase two of Line 1 is currently scheduled to be unveiled in June of next year. He also told us that once put into use, Kunming's urban rail control and safety systems will be one of the most advanced in China due to technological advances and upgrades from existing metros in cities like Beijing.
Estimated completion dates for delayed Lines 2 and 3 have not yet been made available. A detailed look at all six lines and their proposed stations was made public in 2010.
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