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Beijing to upgrade or replace old subway trains on Line 1

08-02-2010 15:44 BJT

Because of the continuous sauna-like weather, many people like to choose subway over ground transportation. However, some non-air-conditioned trains on Beijing’s Subway Line 1 are also unbearable. According to relevant departments, the plan to transform and renovate the non-air-conditioned trains on Line 1 has already been launched. Nineteen groups of the non-air-conditioned trains are expected to be replaced by new air-conditioned trains, and the remaining 31 groups will be transformed into air-conditioned trains in three years.

Replacement plan for subway trains is waiting for approval

According to the relevant department of the subway company, Line 1 currently has 70 groups of six-car trains, among which, 20 groups are air-conditioned and were put into use before the Beijing Olympic Games, replacing the old non-air-conditioned trains from the 1980s. The remaining 50 groups are all non-air-conditioned trains, among which, 19 groups totaling 114 trains went into operation in 1995 and have been in service for 15 years. Considering the rapid growing passenger flow on Line 1, and the comprehensive performance of the trains, the subway company plans to replace these old trains with new air-conditioned trains ahead of schedule. The manufacturing cost for each train reaches over 6 million yuan, indicating that 114 trains will cost several hundred million yuan in total. The subway trains’ replacement plan is now waiting for the relevant department’s approval.

Two trains have been upgraded into air-conditioned trains

Currently, there are 31 groups totaling 186 non-air-conditioned trains on Line 1. They were put into use in 1999 and have not reached their retirement age. The subway company plans to upgrade those trains, though it is very difficult to upgrade trains installed with fans. To install the air-conditioning system on the trains, they need to convert cable lines in a limited space while ensuring the safe operation of the rest of the trains. Since the body construction of the trains is changed after the air-conditioning system is installed, they also need to adjust the signaling system.

Two trains have finished the upgrade recently, but they cannot be put into use until they pass a series of comprehensive tests. Only after the tests prove the upgrade is successful can the rest of trains be upgraded as planned. According to an official from the subway company, the upgrade work is expected to be finished in two to three years.

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