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What with imminent price hikes and people getting crushed to death, it seems like its all bad news lately with the Beijing Subway – but good news is just around the corner.

One new line and two extensions of existing lines will open next month, bringing parts of the city previously unreachable into the subway network. From next month onward, trips to places like Chaoyang Park, Indigo Mall, Beijing United Family Hospital, and the 798 Art District will be easily reachable via subway.

Likely the most significant portion of the expansion for the international community will be the extension of Line 14, which starts in the west of Beijing, cuts east-west across the city between the southern stretches of the second and third ring roads before heading due north at Dawang Lu just east of Shuangjing.

From there it heads northward where it stops at the south gate of Chaoyang Park, again at the West gate of the park about 500 meters south of Solana Mall before heading north to bisect Indigo Mall and Beijing United. The line makes a stop at 798 and then heads through Wangjing to end up west of WAB.

To put it in perspective, these once distant areas of Lido, which can take 60 to 90 minutes to reach on surface roads at rush hour, will be a mere half a dozen stops (and one line change) from the southern part of Sanlitun, reachable in likely less than 20 minutes.

Some highlights of landmarks at the various stations on Line 14 (from north to south):

Gaojiayuan: 798 Art District
Jiangtai: Beijing United Family Hospital, Indigo Mall, East Hotel
Zaoying: Solana Mall, West Gate of Chaoyang Park
Chaoyang Park: South Gate of Chaoyang Park
Jiulongshan: Shuangjing Carrefour, B&Q, BCIS

On other subway line expansion news, Line 7, which cuts an east-west swath across the southern part of the city between Lines 2 and 10, will open as well before the end of the year. Line 7 starts at the Beijing West Railway Station, runs through Shuangjing and ends up southwest of the city, with a stop at Happy Valley Amusement Park.

The new lines have potential to relieve some of the pressure on three of the most overcrowded stations in the system: Jinsong, Shuangjing, and Guomao, as the combination of Lines 7 and 14 will allow south-siders multiple new access points to reach the CBD and other points northward without having to rely solely on Line 10.

Finally, Line 6 will be adding a new extension deeper in the eastern suburb of Tongzhou, though likely will have little impact except for those commuting from this area of town.

No specific launch date was announced aside from assertions that the new lines will open by the end of this year.

Images: Wikipedia

Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog