Three new subways lines will start operation tomorrow in Beijing, namely S1 Line (Beijing’s 1st Maglev line), Yanfang Line (China’s 1st unmanned subway) and Xijiao Line. The new lines will bring the total number of lines in the capital to 22, covering a total of 608 kilometers.
The 10.2-km S1 Line will be Beijing's first Maglev line, and has a top speed of 100 km/h. It will link the city's western districts of Mentougou and Shijingshan, and passengers can ride the entire line in less than 20 minutes. Maglev trains rely on electromagnetic forces that elevate carriages about 1 centimeter above the tracks, considerably reducing friction and providing a smooth ride.
The 16.6-km Yanfang Line is China’s first domestically made driverless subway. It has a seating capacity of 960 and a top speed of 80 km/h. The line connects Beijing's southwestern Yanshan and Fangshan areas, aiming to facilitate development.
Xijiao Line operates in the west part of Beijing city and runs through many sightseeing spots, including the Summer Palace, Beijing Botanical Garden and Fragrant Hills Park. It runs mainly at ground level, but may rise or go underground as the road system requires.