first fully-automatic subway, Yanfang Line linking Hebei’s Yanjiao and
Fangshan district in Beijing, will go on trial in December and is
expected to be put into operation by the end of 2017.
In the fully-automatic subway system, trains will automatically run and
stop, open and shut doors, and return back to its terminal station
without any drivers or steward members, said Wang Daomin, head of the
Beijing MTR Construction Administration Corporation, which is in charge
of the city’s subway development.
Thus, trains will run accurately based on the timetable without any
delays. Even when there is a problem, the system can repair itself
automatically. The equipment fault period will also be prolonged to
4,500 hours, compared to 3,000 hours for the common trains.
Subway lines marked with red lines are those that will use the
fully-automatic rail transit line system in Beijing.
Apart from the Yanfang Line, Beijing’s subway line 3, line 12, line 17
and the new airportline will also use this system. By 2020, the
municipality will have up to 300 kilometers of fully-automatic rail
transit lines. Nationwide, the fully-automatic system will cover
The world’s first fully-automatic subway debuted in 1998 in Paris.
Though Beijing built its first fully-automatic subway line 10 years ago
by purchasing the system techniques from abroad, the new Yanfang line is
China’s very first rail transit line using self-developed techniques.