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Beijing spends 4 bln yuan to upgrade subway for Olympics
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08:15, July 09, 2007

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The Beijing Municipal government has spent nearly 4 billion yuan (roughly 526 million U.S. dollars) to give two of its key 30-year-old-plus metro lines a facelift prior to next summer's Olympics.

Work on No.1 and No.2 subway lines, which were built in the 1960s, is expected be completed next April, the Beijing Daily Messenger reported on Sunday.

The average waiting time will be reduced to about 2.5 minutes from current more than three minutes, to cope better with the huge passenger flows during the Games, the newspaper quoted sources with the Beijing Subway Co. as saying.

A total of 180 new, modern subway cars will replace old ones on both lines and an extra 84 new ones will be added to Line 2.

Trains pulling the new cars will be able to carry 400 more passengers than current trains. The new cars will also be wheelchair accessible.

"Sample vehicles will arrive in Beijing at the end of this month," he said.

Currently, Beijing has four lines totaling 114 kilometers, carrying 2.1 million passengers a day.

The city will have nine lines totaling 200 km by 2008, and 19 lines totaling 561.5 km by 2020.

Source: Xinhua

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