The Beijing Subway
Beijing's small subway system is relatively modern, the first section opened in 1969. There are big plans for expansion, as you can tell from the numbering of the three lines currently operating, 1, 2 and 13. A number of other routes are scheduled for opening in time for the Olympics in 2008.
Lines 1 and 2
The original subway, opened in 1969, operated on parts of what are now lines 1 and 2. The two were separated when Line 2 was extended to form a complete loop in 1987. More recently, Line 1 has been extended eastwards to Sihui Dong, opening in 2000.
Line 1 trains at Guomao station.
Typical Line 1 and 2 surface buildings. The ticket office etc. is located underground, and each station has a number of these ugly buildings on the surface. On the left is one on the newer part of Line 1, on the right a slightly older one from the 1980s.
Batong (foreground) and Line 1 (behind) trains meet at Sihui Dong.
The Batong Line
At the east end of line 1 is an end-on junction with the Batong line which opened in 2003 and is currently operated by new trains as a separate shuttle.
Line 13 forms a 40km long loop around the northern suburbs, running almost entirely on or above ground level with just a couple of short tunnel sections. Opened in January 2003 it features modern trains and stations.
Here is a typical station, at Shaoyaoju, located in the central reservation of an incomplete expressway (I am standing in the middle of one of the carriageways.)
A Line 13 train calls at Lishuiqiao.
A ride on Line 13 provides opportunities to view the construction works which are under way on other lines. Line 5 and Line 10 are currently under construction and are scheduled to open in late 2007, in time for the Olympics.
At Shaoyaoju line 10 will connect with Line 13. Line 10 will be underground at this point.
At Lishuiqiao, Line 5 intersects with Line 13. In the left picture you can see the future Line 5 trackbed on the left, and the flyover carrying a connecting curve on the right. The Line 5 station is visible in the distance, and Line 13 crosses above, behind it.
On the right is a view taken from the Line 13 platform. You can see the connecting curve on the left, the Line 5 station building under construction on the right, and underneath the viaduct a flock of taxis and minibusses waiting to take train passengers home.
North of Lishuiqiao is the Line 5 station at Taipingzhuang (Left) and to the south Line 5 crosses the river. (Right)
Here is an unused platform at Wangjingxi on Line 13, probably in preparation for a proposed branch heading north-east from here towards the Airport.
Construction work has not started on this branch as far as I can see, and I'm not sure whether the recent announcement of an express subway line from Dongzhimen to the airport, construction to begin in February 2006, is this line or a different plan.
Confused? I recommend the excellent map on the Urbanrail website.
The Shanghai Metro
The first line of this modern system was opened in 1995, and additions are currently under construction. Unusually for a metro system the electrification is 1500v DC overhead.
Line 2 opened in 2000 and runs mostly underground. Here a train stops at Lujiazui station.
The brand new line 4, opened less than a month when I travelled on it, shares the elevated tracks of line 3 in the west of the City and then runs in new tunnels where the stations have platform edge doors.