Concrete haulage trucks are all set.
Construction has begun on the Pudong section of the express Metro line which will connect the city’s two airports by 2024.
Workers began building Zhangjiang station for the express line along with two shield tunnels and other support structures, marking another milestone for the project which was launched a year ago.
The two-story underground station covers about 71,000 square meters, while the two shield tunnels are 2.47 and 5.69 kilometers long. The station will be completed by December 2023.
The 68.6-kilometer express line is expected to shorten the travel time between the two airports to less than 40 minutes from 90 minutes upon completion in 2024. The line will have nine stations across Xuhui and Minhang districts as well as the Pudong New Area. The line has three main parts — Puxi, Pudong and the cross-river sections.
It will run through the Hongqiao transport hub, Qibao historical town, Huajing Town, Sanlin Town, Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, Shanghai International Resort, Pudong International Airport as well as the planned new terminal building of the Pudong airport and Shanghai East Railway Station.
Currently, passengers can take Metro Line 2 or an airport bus between the two airports. This takes between 70 and 90 minutes, depending on whether commuters use the Maglev in addition to the Metro.
Workers give the thumbs up to the start of work.
Construction started on the project in June 2019, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To catch up the schedule, constructions workers have been working during the Labor Day and Dragon Boat festivals. Those from outside Shanghai have been in quarantine, and also have their temperatures checked before starting work.
As one of China’s first batch of 11 demonstration city railways approved by China’s development and reform commission, the nation’s top planning body, the express line will be able to connect with the nation’s railway system and the intercity transport network of the Yangtze River Delta region in the future.
The express line will not only benefit transit passengers at both airports, but also make it more convenient for citizens to travel around the city. It will further improve the pivotal and service functions of both airports to the Yangtze River Delta region, according to the city government.
The line will also improve the city’s business environment, enhance Shanghai’s core competences and strongly support the national strategy of integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region, the city government said.
Based on the standards of the nation’s railway system, the line’s designed speed will be 160 kilometers per hour. About 88 percent of the project will run underground. Above ground, travel will be on elevated rails.
Editor: Cai Wenjun