Songjiang drives ahead with comprehensive transport system

Tan Weiyun
Songjiang is constructing integrated urban transportation networks with progress in significant projects including the Songjiang Hub, Metro Line 12, and other road construction.
Tan Weiyun

A city's modern comprehensive transportation system is the lifeblood of its development, driving economic progress and fostering high-quality growth.

Songjiang has been constructing integrated urban transportation networks in recent years with remarkable progress in several significant projects including the Songjiang Hub, Metro Line 12 that will run across the district, and other road construction.

Songjiang drives ahead with comprehensive transport system

As a city's comprehensive transition center, Songjiang Hub stands as a testament to the efficiency of a well-planned transportation network. The station building project at the hub is 67 percent complete, while the service center project is at 39 percent, and the north square is at 22 percent.

The hub is expected to be completed and open for traffic in November next year. Upon its completion, it will boast nine platforms and 23 railway tracks, facilitating the transportation of an estimated 25 million passengers annually.

The construction site of the hub is a beehive of activity, with towering cranes and the constant hum of machinery. More than 3,000 workers are labouring productively, working around the clock in shifts.

"Currently, we are advancing the earthwork excavation and underground structural construction," said Zhou Chong, one of the project leaders. "We anticipate the completion of the primary underground structure by the end of this year, with the main structure being topped out by the end of May next year. The whole project is expected to be completed by the end of next November."

Songjiang drives ahead with comprehensive transport system

Current investment in the overall project, including the service center, north square, and associated facilities, has reached approximately 35 percent. The station building at the Songjiang Hub is now 67 percent complete, laying the groundwork for the opening of the Shanghai-Suzhou-Huzhou Railway by the end of next year.

The connection between Songjiang and railways dates back more than a century. Historical records indicate that in 1906, the construction of the Suzhou-Zhejiang Railway (Shanghai-Hangzhou Line) commenced, with the section from Shanghai to Fengjing (which belonged to Zhejiang and today is in Jinshan District) becoming operational two years later.

This marked the inception of railway transport in Songjiang. From 1906 to 2023, over a century has seen the evolution of the district's railway transport development from nothing, ushering in an era of high-quality socio-economic development.

In order to align with Songjiang's role as an independent comprehensive urban node, the transition hub is set to become a flagship project in the Songjiang New City. On June 5, 2020, the construction of the Shanghai-Suzhou-Huzhou Railway began, a vital project in the development of the Yangtze River Delta. This marked the transformation of Songjiang South Station, a small local train station, into the Songjiang Hub, a key link to the Delta region.

The railway spans 163.8 kilometers with a designed speed of 350 kilometers per hour. It features eight stations along its route, with the Songjiang section covering 30.44 kilometers.

Songjiang Hub is the largest and newest built station along the railway, upgrading the Songjiang South Station to a true gateway for southwestern Shanghai, and servicing both departing and arriving trains.

The hub has been designed with nine platforms and 23 railway tracks, with an estimated annual passenger capacity of 25 million.

The architectural concept is encapsulated in the phrase, "Amidst the Clouds, the Infinite Blossom of Magnolias", drawing inspiration from Songjiang's picturesque natural environment and rich cultural heritage. The circular design, representing Chinese philosophical ideals, symbolizes the concept of infinite blossoms, creating two axes running north-south and east-west.

The Songjiang Hub spans an area of 2.47 million square meters, with the station building covering approximately 220,000 square meters. This is equivalent to 31 standard football fields. The service center has an above-ground area of 92,311 square meters, and the Shanghai-Suzhou-Huzhou Station building is 60,000 square meters.

The existing Songjiang South Station building covers 8,500 square meters, and its two underground levels will be turned into a parking lot that can house 2,000 vehicles.

Despite the tight schedule and demanding quality and safety standards, all projects at Songjiang Hub are progressing smoothly and efficiently.

The railway station building construction was put out for bidding in April of this year, and construction began in May in conjunction with the North Square project. The construction of the underground structure for the Songjiang Station Service Center has already started, with excavation expected to be completed by the end of this November.

Over 90 percent of the piling work is finished, accounting for 39 percent of the overall project volume. The North Square project has nearly completed the piling and retaining wall construction and is moving on to earthwork excavation and underground structure construction, reaching 22 percent of the overall project volume. Furthermore, the construction of the 11 roads that link the hub is also proceeding.

A well-connected city thrives, and a thriving city means prosperity.

"The Shanghai Songjiang Hub serves as a crucial node and engine for the development of the national 'Belt and Road' Initiative and the G60 Sci-Tech Innovation Corridor in the Yangtze River Delta's high-quality integrated development," said Yang Jin, director of the Songjiang District Transportation Commission.

"As a city-level hub of Shanghai, it is a focal point in the city's southwestern, alleviating the traffic pressure on the Hongqiao Hub, and serving as a pivotal point for the entire city," Yang added.

Alongside the construction of the hub, Songjiang is planning a multimodal transport logistics hub, in coordination with the Shanghai-Suzhou-Huzhou Railway and the Shihudang Railway Freight Yard. With an estimated future cargo volume of around 20 million tons, the cargo value is expected to exceed 300 billion yuan.

"We will make full use of the advantages of integrated water-and-rail, and road-and-rail transportation," Yang said. "Leveraging the G60 Sci-Tech Innovation Corridor in the Yangtze River Delta, we aim to construct a multimodal logistics system that is centered around international rail services, intertwined with maritime transport, and deeply integrated with high-speed rail freight."

Once the Songjiang Hub is completed, it will serve as a convergence point for five national rail lines, providing a direct link to Europe through national railway main lines.

In addition, by utilizing the Shanghai-Kunming Railway and the Shanghai-Kunming Expressway as essential connectors, the hub will facilitate seamless transportation to ports such as Mohan and Moding, enabling deeper access into the Southeast Asian hinterland.

This strategic approach ensures resource allocation across the Asia-Pacific region, thereby achieving inter-regional development.

Several other significant transportation initiatives are reshaping the cityscape of Songjiang and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. These projects span various modes of transportation, including rail, bus, and even pedestrian pathways. The synergy of these projects demonstrates Songjiang's commitment to creating a modern, interconnected, and accessible urban environment.

Songjiang drives ahead with comprehensive transport system

The newly-completed Metro Line 9 bus hub at Sheshan Station marks a milestone in Songjiang's public transportation system. The project recently underwent a successful inspection and is now in the process of regulatory approval. Once approved, the hub will be handed over to the Songjiang Public Transport Company for full operation.

The project encompasses a compact area, stretching from the south of Gulou Road to the north of Xinjing River, and from the east of Sikainan Road to the west of Metro Line 9 Sheshan Station.

It covers a land area of more than 3,200 square meters, and serves as a small-scale bus parking facility designed to be the originating and terminating points for three bus routes.

The new bus hub will significantly enhance the convenience of travel for residents in the Sheshan and Sijing areas, reducing the commute time from their doorsteps to the metro station.

Metro Line 12, a vital addition to Shanghai's extensive metro network, is currently under construction, and its Songjiang segment is making steady progress. This new line will provide Songjiang residents with improved connectivity, ease of commuting, and access to key destinations of downtown Shanghai.

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