Bullet train to suburbs starts by end of month

Sep 18, 2012

Shanghai's first direct railway line linking downtown to the city's outskirts using bullet trains will open to service by September 28, said the operator yesterday.

The Jinshan Railway Line, formerly designated as Metro Line 22, will see test runs after September 20, said railway officials. The Jinshan Line stretches from Shanghai South Railway Station to Jinshan New Town at the city's south end. New signs are being put up at the railway station. The 56-kilometer-long rail line has been financed and built by both the Shanghai city government and the Ministry of Railways.

Railway insiders said the line is expected to "adopt the Shanghai public transport system," which means the passengers would be able to use their public transport cards to buy the tickets. The details of the line, like fares and timetables, were not disclosed yesterday by the railway operator.

The subway will have two alternating operational modes, one non-stop and one that stops at stations.

It is expected to carry 5,000 passengers a day in its initial service.

The non-stop model will take half an hour along the route while the slower one needs about 45 minutes with nine stops. The trains can travel at about 160 kilometers per hour. The current bus lines carrying the Jinshan residents take more than an hour to get to downtown. The riders will be able to transfer to Line 1 at Xinzhuang Station and Shanghai South Railway Station.

Meanwhile, the local railway operator estimates a passenger surge in the coming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday. More than 2.66 million passengers will use the railways in the city during the holiday, a 9.68 percent increase over last year.

To handle the volume and solve ticketing issues, the operator allows riders to book the tickets for 42 train services this year more than a half month before the trains depart. More train services will be added during the holiday.