Editor's note: It has been officially confirmed that Metro Line 3 opened at 10am today, August 29. It is scheduled to run daily from 6:20am until 10:45pm. Ticket cost is based on distance traveled. Rides between one and four kilometers cost two yuan, and increase in price by one yuan for each additional two kilometers. Additionally, Line 6, which currently only travels between Kunming East Bus Station and Changshui International Airport has reopened. It will run everyday from 6:20am-10:20pm. The following article was originally published August 24, and has not been edited to reflect these changes.
Headlines in nearly every Kunming newspaper recently featured something along the lines of "The countdown to opening Metro Line 3 has begun!" Unfortunately, the attached articles prove largely unhelpful as they lack a very pertinent bit of information — when the east-west subway will actually open. Here's what we know so far.
From August 17 to 20, light rail experts and technicians from Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Foshan inspected all 20 stations along the 23.4-kilometer track, riding in new locally built train cars as they went. After traveling multiple times between the line's two terminal stops — Kunming's East Bus Station and Xishan Park Station in the west — the line was declared "fit to begin trial operations".
However, no timetable has been announced for such tests, let alone when the line will officially open. A few daring news outlets have predicted — with large disclaimers declaring nothing has been confirmed by the relevant departments — that Line 3 will open on September 30, 2017.
Work on Metro Line 3 was first announced way back in 2010. At that time, 16 stops covering 19.5 kilometers was the expectation. Beginning on the northwest shore of Dianchi Lake at the previously mentioned Xishan station, the railway would then run through the city center before heading into the sprawl of east Kunming.
Things have been tweaked and expanded slightly over the intervening years, but plans still include a transfer to Metro Line 6 — currently closed — and Changshui International Airport via the East Bus Station stop. When complete, Metro Line 3 will not only connect to Line 6, but also link up with lines 1 and 2 at Dongfeng Square Station.
In addition to the safety checks and diagnostic computer work entailed by "trial operations", final cosmetic touches are necessary at many of the Line 3 stations. These include basics such as installing security camera systems and light fixtures, placing floor tiles, hanging advertising and even deciding what time each stop will open and close.
Once open, Line 3 should represent a nice addition to Kunming's slowly expanding metro system. One day in the future — by some estimates as early as 2020 — the Spring City will have six interconnected subway lines. For now though, most are happy to hear that years of traffic disruptions along the Line 3 route may soon be a thing of the past.
Below is the complete list of stops, from west to east, comprising Metro Line 3.
• Xishan Park (西山公园站)
• Chejiabi (车家壁站)
• Puping Cun (普坪村站)
• Shizui (石咀站)
• Dayu Lu (大渔路站)
• West Bus Station (西部汽车站)
• Mianshan (眠山站)
• Changyuan Zhong Lu (昌源中路站)
• Xiyuan (西苑站)
• Liangjiahe (梁家河站)
• Municipal Gymnasium (市体育馆站)
• Panjiawan (潘家湾站)
• Wuyi Lu (五一路站)
• Dongfeng Square (东风广场站)
• Tuodong Stadium (拓东体育馆站)
• Dashuying (大树营站)
• Jinmasi (金马寺站)
• Taiping Cun (太平村站)
• Hongqiao (虹桥站)
• East Bus Station (东部汽车站)
I wonder what will be the path between xishan flyover and ligong daxue. I guess they tunnel straight under hongshan?
(second phase of line 1)
Exciting times in Kunming. Line 3 is about to start very soon, probably next month. Don't mind them taking time for safety precautions.
Line 5 "交三桥" station near Cuihu Lake has already begun construction with visible crane by 中铁十八局. There is another "交三桥" station with the exact name on Line 2 (adjacent to the East on the KRT map), which is kind of confusing.
There's a more official map on the "Kunming Rail Transit Group" website: www.kmgdgs.com/node_46459.htm
(It's flash, doesn't work on most phones)
@Dan: looks like Line 1 will follow Jianshe Lu actually, with a stop at the crossing with 121, not really Xizhan.
@bilingualexpat: must be a mistake on that map. The 2 stops on Line 5 are called 翠湖 and 胜利堂. I'm guessing Shenglitang will be on Renmin Zhong Lu though, not like on the map.
@Philou You're right, a typo. It ought to be called "胜利堂"... good research.
The actual station ought to be just north of Renming Zhong Lu. behind that modernistic Wuhua People's Government Building. Said empty lot under KRT construction used to be a school.
Across the Renming Zhong Lu. street to the South is the actual "胜利堂" monument. The south gate is known for selling puppies and kittens.
A garden landscaped park along Renming Zhong Lu has recently completed renovation, with a roundabout stone paved road connecting to Kunming 正义 Old Street, which is also being revamped in hopes of one day rivaling LiJiang's old street.
Nice to see Kunming spending money in realizing their 20-year goal.
Does anyone know a link to a more up to date map in PinYin?
Oops my bad, no pinyin, just English station names for that link.
Well a few are in pinyin complete, and some mixed pinyin English word, like Wuhua Stadium.
Tomorrow (August 29th) at 10am Line 3 and Line 6 will commence public trial runs. Line 6 to Airport will charge 8 yuan.
Fyi, Baiyun lu around Beijing lu no longer exists, for cars anyways.
Has line 6 been extended to link with lines 1 and 2 as shown on the map?
Wow - thanks for the update(s). This opens a brand new line of journalistic travel reporting fog gokm. What to see & do around each station (temples, eateries, entertainment, etc).
Look forwards to the municipal subway exit travel reporting (for tourists and locals alike).
And you can also do travel video spots for the local tv channels - chinese love (I think) to see foreigners who can speak reasonably fluently and whom are delighted with the local culture(s).
I'm just glad we can finally (maybe) get to dianchi without grabbing taxis, didiche or buses.
it's very convenient for us.
Focusing only on 'sites' is no way to come to understand a city, even in a short time.
someone should start a website called stating the bleeding obvious and questioning everyone elses opinions
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