Experiencing the first passenger trial operation of Suzhou Line 11
On Friday, I had the amazing opportunity to be among the first passengers to ride Suzhou Line 11 as it launched its first trial operation with passengers.
This 41.27-kilometer metro line seamlessly connects Shanghai to Suzhou in Jiangsu Province and has 28 stops between Weiting in Suzhou Industrial Park and Huaqiao in Kunshan.
As I arrived at Huaqiao Station at 9am, I was met with a huge crowd eagerly waiting for the arrival of the first train. The palpable excitement in the air was a symbol of the unification of these two cities and marked a historic moment. It's clear that this new line will dramatically transform the daily lives of Suzhou residents who commute to Shanghai for work.
Huaqiao Station serves both Suzhou Line 11 and Shanghai Line 11.
Since Suzhou Line 11 is still in the testing phase, details regarding the payment system between the two lines have not yet been determined.
Descending onto the train platform, I couldn't help eagerly glancing at the display, anticipating the self-driving train's imminent arrival. I soon spotted it approaching and stepped aboard. While the overall appearance of the train is similar to the Shanghai metro, the unique beige and white color scheme set it apart.
Enchanted by the mesmerizing movement of the cars as they gracefully glided through the tunnel, I found myself standing at the very front of the train. It brought back memories of the curiosity I held as a child, wondering what the subway driver sees.
Curious about the impact of the new metro line, I engaged in conversations with the locals. One person shared with me that the opening of the line has significantly improved their daily commute to work.
It's truly wonderful to witness a city's growth and the subsequent enhancements in convenience for its residents.