The first unmanned subway line in China will be opened to passengers by the end of the year after successfully completing several test runs, reports The Beijing News.
The Yanshan to Fangshan line in Beijing runs 14.4 km through the southwest of the city. With a top speed of 80 km/h, it will take passengers one hour to travel from the suburban Yanshan Station to the city center.
Nine elevated stations have been constructed along the new line. The stations feature enclosed air-conditioned waiting areas with seating so passengers can wait for their train in comfort regardless of the weather.
"Technically speaking, the Yanshan to Fangshan line has run completely unmanned," said Lv Aiguo, the project manager for the information systems of the new subway line. In the initial stage of the trial operation, trains runs automatically but are supervised by drivers. The trains have completed a series of automated procedures such as starting, stopping, and the opening and closing of doors.
Located at the end of the Beijing Subway network, the number of passengers using the new line is predicted to be low and four-carriage trains will meet the needs of nearby residents. However, the new stations have been designed for larger six-carriage trains so they can accommodate an increase in the number of passengers in the future.