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Beijing subway line comes to a standstill

By Yin Yeping, James Tiscione (Global Times)

08:08, December 23, 2011

Beijing subway Line 1 descended into confusion yesterday evening, after a signal failure temporarily disrupted operation of the city's busiest line of transport.

Between 6:40 and 8 pm, passengers were left stranded in the ticketing areas, around stairwells or outside the station at the major subway interchange of Guomao.

"Line 1 was completely out of action for around 80 minutes, nothing was moving, it was all due to a signal failure," one subway driver told the Global Times yesterday, on condition of anonymity.

Beijing Subway company confirmed the details by releasing an official statement shortly after the subway resumed operation.

"Between 6:11 and 7:12 pm, a signal failure on Line 1 between Wukesong station and Wanshoulu forced trains to reduce their speed," the statement reads. It continues to state that under the circumstances, trains would only be able to move if they were at least one station apart.

"Instead of the normal two and a half minutes between the trains, they had to slow down to be at least 5 minutes apart," said Jia Peng, a spokesman for Beijing Subway. He asked the public and the media not to trust rumors about the incident.

The statement was of little comfort to commuters, who found themselves stuck.

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