Construction began in March 2007 on the 31-station line, which links Linping in the north with Wulin Square in the city centre and Xianghu in the south.

The Yuan 22bn ($US 3.53bn) project has been implemented as a Public Private Partnership and the line is operated by the Hangzhou MTR joint venture, which comprises MTR Corporation (49%) and Hangzhou Metro Group Company (51%).

The joint venture is responsible for the mechanical and electrical element of the project including the rolling stock which equates to an investment of Yuan 8.3bn. CSR Puzhen has supplied a fleet of 48 six-car trains for Line 1 styled by MBD Design, France

Hangzhou Line 1 is MTR's third metro project in mainland China, after Beijing Line 4 and Shenzhen's Longhua Line.

Construction is also underway on the 34.7km southeastern section of Line 2, which is expected to open before the end of next year.