New metro opens in Kunming

Subway opens in SW China’s Kunming

KUNMING, May 20 (Xinhua) — A subway line opened Monday in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the first to be built in the area.

The 22-km-long line will eventually act as an overlapping section for two planned subway lines, a manager from subway operator Kunming Subway Co., Ltd. said.

The subway’s trains will run at an average speed of 39.3 km per hour, taking 34 minutes for each one-way trip, the manager said.

Construction on the line started in April 2010. It went into trial operation on April 9 this year.

A continued infrastructure boom

Dozens of cities are building a metro system. Some do not need it

NOT many global cities of nearly 9m people lack an underground line, but until the end of last year the eastern city of Hangzhou was one of them. Now city slickers and rural migrants squeeze together inside shiny new carriages, checking their smartphones and reading free newspapers like commuters the world over. There is standing-room only in the rush hour and, with tickets at less than a dollar, the metro is revolutionising the way people travel across town.

Two other Chinese cities—Suzhou and Kunming—have also opened their first underground lines in the past year, and the north-eastern city of Harbin is preparing to open one too. Four more cities have just added a new line to their existing systems. At least seven others have begun building their first lines.

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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