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September 29, 2009

Beijing Metro opens Line 4

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TRIAL operation began yesterday on Beijing's second north-south metro line. Line 4 runs for 28.2km from its northern terminus at Anheqiao North to Xizhimen, Xidan, and Gongyixiqiao, serving China's national library, the university district, and Beijing Zoo.

The Yuan 15.3 billion ($US 2.24 billion), 24-station line is the first metro project in China to be implemented as a public-private partnership, and was built by Beijing-MTR, a joint venture between state-owned Beijing Infrastructure Investment Company and Beijing Capital Group, and MTR Corporation, Hong Kong. Beijing-MTR also has a 30-year concession to operate the line.
Services operate at 3.5-minute headways, with a journey time of around 48 minutes between the termini. Stations are equipped with Bluetooth access points, which allow passengers to download maps to a mobile phone.
Line 4 is part of an ambitious investment programme that will give Beijing one of the world's largest metro networks by the middle of the next decade. Another five lines, totalling more than 300km are due to open by 2013.

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