TWO new urban rail lines have opened in in Qingdao, China, and another in Ningbo, with a total length of more than 100km.
The Qingdao Metro Line 1 and Line 8 both begin at Jiaozhou North station, with Line 1 running 21.3km north to Dongguozhuang station while Line 8 runs west to Wusi Square station.
The first section of Line 1 has 15 stations. The full line will be 60km long, running from Wangjiagang Station to Dongguozhuang Station, and will have 41 underground stations. When completed, the line will connect the West Coast Bus station, Qingdao station, Qingdao North station, North Bus station, Liuting Airport and other transport hubs.
Construction of the line began in March 2016, with tunnelling completed in February. The line was completed in April and a trial operation concluded in August, allowing the acceptance and expert review to be finished at the beginning of December.
Qingdao Metro used a number of innovative methods during construction, including soil freezing and Building Information Modelling (BIM)
The first section of the Line 8 commuter line is 48.3km long, including 6.4km of elevated line and 41.9km underground, with 11 stations and a design speed of 120km/h. The line provides a connection between Qingdao North station, Hongdao station, Jiaodong International Airport and Jiaozhou. When completed, the full 61.4km line will serve 18 stations.
The line, which runs underneath the harbour and passes through difficult mountainous terrain, was completed in three-and-a-half years. This includes a 5.4km undersea tunnel at up to 56m below sea level, the longest underwater metro tunnel in China. The underground Qingdao North Station was built 120m away from the operational Line 3, at a depth of 16m.
The elevated section of the line runs parallel to the Jinan – Qingdao high-speed line, coming within 12m of the line at one point. The developers of the commuter line collaborated with the team constructing the high-speed line in order to speed up the construction of both projects.
The Ningbo Line 4 runs 35.95km from Cicheng to Dongqian Lake, including 25.1km underground, with 25 stations including interchanges with lines 1, 2 and 3 and the future Line 5. The line takes the city’s network to 155km following the opening of the second section of Line 2 in May and the third section of Line 3 in September.
The line also connects with Zhuangqiao station, Ningbo station, Ningbo East station, and Dongqian Lake Tourism Transport Centre.
Services are provided by 36 trains with a maximum operating speed of 80km/h, between 06.00 and 22.10. The peak interval during weekdays is 4min 25s, increasing to 6min 25s during standard periods and 10min off-peak. At the weekend, services operate at 6min 25s intervals during standard periods and 10min off-peak.