Capital Airport Express
The Capital Airport Express of the Beijing Subway (Chinese: 北京地铁首都机场线; pinyin: Běijīng Dìtiě Shǒudū Jīchǎng Xiàn), also known by the initials ABC, Airport Beijing City, is an airport rail link from Dongzhimen station to the Beijing Capital International Airport. The line became operational on July 19, 2008. On subway maps, the Capital Airport Express' color is magnolia.
|Capital Airport Express|
A Capital Airport Express train leaving Terminal 3 station with a landing Boeing 737-700 on the background
|Other name(s)||L1 (planned name)|
|Locale||Dongcheng, Chaoyang, and Shunyi districts|
|Termini||Terminal 3 / Terminal 2|
|Type||Airport rail link|
|Operator(s)||Beijing Capital Metro Corp., Ltd.|
|Rolling stock||4-car Type LB (QKZ5)|
|Daily ridership||31,300 (2014 Avg.) |
49,100 (2014 Peak)
|Line length||28.1 kilometres (17.5 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Operating speed||110 km/h|
|Capital Airport Express|
Capital Airport Express trains first depart Dongzhi Men, stop at Sanyuan Qiao, then stop at Terminal 3. Trains then reverse at Terminal 3 and head to Terminal 2. Trains reverse again and proceed to Dongzhimen, stopping at Sanyuanqiao along the way.
|Station Name||Connections||Nearby Bus Stops||Time||Distance
|●||●||Dongzhi Men||东直门||3 18 24 44 75 106 107 117 123 130 132 135 142 200 359 401 404 413 416 418 612 850 850快 852 915 915快 916 916快 918 935 935快 942快 966 980 980快 夜6 夜10 夜20 夜32||0:00||0.000||0.000|
|●||●||Sanyuan Qiao||三元桥||18 95 104 132 300 300快 302 359 368 379 401 403 404 419 536 604 641 671 847 850 850快 852 915 915快 916 916快 918 935 935快 939 980 980快 985 夜18 夜30||0:04||3.022||3.022||Chaoyang|
The Airport Express was originally conceived to run non-stop between Dongzhimen and the Capital Airport. An intermediate stop at Sanyuanqiao was subsequently added for the convenience of passengers connecting to Line 10.
Designers for the new line considered several types of technology for the Airport Express, including:
- high-speed maglev, similar to that of the Shanghai Maglev Train
- low-speed maglev, similar to that of the Linimo line in Japan
- conventional electric motor propulsion
- linear motor propulsion
Planning accelerated after the city won the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, which included a promise to connect the airport to the Olympic village by subway. The project cost ¥5.4bn and involved a consortium of companies led by the Beijing Dongzhimen Airport Express Rail Company.
The project operated under a tight delivery schedule, initially with very limited public disclosure. During construction, officials from both the Beijing Dongzhimen Airport Express Rail Co. and Bombardier expressed concerns about whether the project would be completed, as originally planned, by the end of 2007, with test operations to start in April 2008. At the time, Zhang Jianwei, chief country representative for Bombardier, called the short timetable for a project of this type unprecedented. Zhang expressed confidence that Bombardier would meet its responsibilities as its Chinese contractors routinely worked 24 hours a day, something not possible in other countries. He also noted, however, that even if the line were to open on time, the need for haste could compromise the quality of construction.
There was also considerable uncertainty over the progress of the project, the identity of contractors and its operational arrangement. Construction was reported to have begun on June 14, 2005, but aspects of the project still awaited the central government's approval. Local media reported in January 2005 that the train supplier had been “basically decided”, but was not officially selected and announced until March 2006.
Track-laying began in March 2007 and was completed by November 2007. Testing using empty trains commenced in April 2008 and official operations started on July 19 of that year, in time for the opening of the Summer Olympic Games on August 8, 2008. The line delivered 2.17 million rides in 2008.
|Dongzhimen — Terminal 3/Terminal 2||19 July 2008||28.1 km (17.46 mi)||4||Capital Airport Express (initial phase)|
Infrastructure and rolling stockEdit
The Airport Express line adopts Advanced Rapid Transit (since renamed Innovia Metro) technology from Bombardier Transportation, with a fleet of 10 QKZ5 trains assembled by Changchun Railway Vehicles (CRV, now part of CRRC Corporation) under a technology transfer agreement. The vehicles were based on those used on AirTrain JFK in New York City, with Bombardier providing bogies as well as the electrical, propulsion and brake systems, which were assembled by CRV.
As with the majority of Beijing Subway trains, the Airport Express trains use a 750 V third rail power supply, and have a maximum speed of 110 kilometers per hour. Trains are configured in fixed sets of four cars with a total of 230 seats, arranged in a longitudinal layout to maximize their quantity.
The line uses Alstom's "Urbalis" communications-based train control system, which is capable of driving trains automatically, although staff still monitor the trains from the front (Grade of Automation level 2). At the time of opening, this system made the Airport Express the first rapid transit line with automated operation in China, and the second such rail line of any kind, after the people mover in Terminal 3 at the airport, which was also supplied by Bombardier.
|Model||Image||Manufacturer||Year Built||Amount in Service||Fleet Numbers||Depot|
|QKZ5||CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles
|2007||10||L1 101–L1 110||Tianzhu|
Western extension to BeixinqiaoEdit
In the short term, there is little scope to increase the Airport Express line's capacity. The 4-car train sets used on the line have significantly lower capacity than those on other Beijing subway lines, which operate 6-car or 8-car train sets. Also, the Airport Express track design requires trains from Terminal 3 to first travel to Terminal 2 before returning to the city. If trains were able to return directly from Terminal 3 to the city the capacity on the route could be increased.
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- ^ 北京机场线将建无人驾驶地铁. 2006-08-08 [2012-08-25].
- "16号线中段今年有望开通". 2020-01-12.
预计2021年底机场线西延实现通车 (The western extension of Capital Airport Express will open in 2021)
- ^ a b "Linear Motor Commuter for Beijing" CNR website Accessed Mar. 27, 2010
- "4条地铁线将装屏蔽门 (in Chinese). 法制晚报. 2010-01-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Capital Airport Express, Beijing Subway.|
- Beijing Capital International Airport: Transport - Airport Express
- Schedule of Capital Airport Express
- Beijing Capital Metro Co., Ltd. official website (can only be accessed by internal accounts)