WORK has officially started on Line 4 of the metro network in the Chinese city of Xuzhou, with a groundbreaking ceremony held at Qiaojiahu station, the future interchange with Line 1.

Phase 1 of Line 4 is expected to cost Yuan 18.3bn ($US 2.7bn) and is 26.2km long with 19 stations, the average distance between each is 1.4km.

The route runs entirely underground from Qiaoshangcun to Tuolanshan Road, and provision is being made to extend the route at both ends.

There are eight interchange stations, which will enable passengers to transfer to lines 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of the Xuzhou Metro, as well as the planned Line 7 and route S3.

Initial operations on Phase 1 of Line 4 are due to commence at the end of December 2027.

Phase 1 received preliminary design approval in November 2021. Property acquisition is now in progress as preliminary works and detailed construction designs are underway.

According to the mayor of Xuzhou, Mr Wang Jianfeng, the city administration is accelerating the construction of its urban rail network as part of a programme to improve the quality of life in the city centre, creating a safe and efficient public transport system that helps to reduce energy consumption.

Main construction work is also underway on Phase 2 of Line 3 and Phase 1 of Line 6.

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