Beijing’s first driverless subway line starts test-run

Beijing: Beijing’s first driverless subway line started test runs on Monday, preparing to start service by the end of this year.

The Yanfang line will serve the southwestern suburb Fangshan and be the first domestically developed automated subway on the mainland, according to First Engineering Co. Ltd. of China Railway Electrification Bureau Group.

The maximum speed on the line will be 80 km per hour, and trains will have a capacity of 1,262 passengers, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the city’s five-year plan on rail construction, the total length of operational rail in the city will exceed 900 km by 2020.

Up to 90 per cent of the city will have at least one subway station within 750 metres, and rail access will reach all of the capital’s 16 urban and rural districts by 2020.

Driverless trains are planned for more lines, including an express line to the new airport being built in Daxing district.