The 17.5km line with 18 stations connects the city's two main line stations, East and South. The line partly uses a former air-defence evacuation tunnel built during the Second World War.

CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles has supplied a fleet of 17 six-car trains which have been fitted with special insulation to withstand the extreme cold. The trains have aluminium alloy car bodies and each set comprises four motored cars and two trailers. Bombardier supplied the traction and auxiliary systems as well as the train control equipment.

Harbin has a population of more than 10 million, and two more metro lines are planned with a view to creating an 89.6km network by 2018.