South extension of Line 5 to start operations by year's end

The south extension of Line 5 will start operations by the end of this year, but before that, passengers taking the line may have to endure some adjustments.

The south extension of Metro Line 5 will start operations before the end of this year, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said. It will be the first Metro line to operate in Fengxian District.

After the extension opens, Line 5 trains will split up at Dongchuan Road Station, with the branch route going to Minhang Development Zone and the main route going to Fengxian Xincheng.

While building the extension line, Line 5 is also upgrading its signal system and the original platforms at stations already operating.

This is the first time that Metro operator is operating, upgrading and building a Metro line simultaneously.

In order to ensure smooth operation, the operator made a three-step plan to adjust operation. The transport capacity in some stations during morning rush hour will decline.

From August 20 to October 19, all 17 four-carriage trains will be remoulded to adapt to the new signal system in batches.

During the two months, the train interval at Jinping Road, Huaning Road, Wenjing Road and Minhang Development Zone stations will be 9 minutes from 7am to 9:30am on workdays. The frequency at other stations will be 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

As transport capacity declines, the Metro operator expects some stations along the line will face large passenger flow.

Five stations, Jinping Road, Dongchuan Road, Jianchuan Road, Beiqiao and Zhuanqiao, will limit the number of passengers during morning rush hours (7am to 9am) on workdays. The estimated waiting time at Zhuanqiao and Beiqiao stations will be 12 minutes. The Metro operator suggests passengers try other public transport or avoid traveling at peak times.

The second step will start from October 20, when six-carriage trains will start trial operation from Xinzhuang Station to Dongchuan Road Station.

The interval during rush hours on workdays will be reduced to 4 minutes and 17 seconds. Meanwhile, with the extra two carriages, the transport capacity of the line in this section will increase at least 50 percent.

By that time, the interval between Jinping Road and Minhang Development Zone will also be reduced to about 8 minutes.

Passengers going to the Minhang Development Zone on the branch route will have to get off at Dongchuan Road and transfer to a four-carriage train that has completed signal upgrades.

Metro operators said all construction on the south extension of the line will be finished around October 20, but it will need some more time to test the signal system and do simulation runs before it can open to the public at the end of this year.

The third step will be carried out around the second half of next year, when passengers will no longer have to change from six-carriage to four-carriage trains while traveling to Minhang Development Zone, Metro operators said.

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