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Local Metro may link Kunshan

2009. 23 April

by Dong Zheng

( is considering a plan to extend what will become its longest and fastest Metro route to Kunshan, an important commercial city 50 kilometers to the north in Jiangsu Province.

A top official with the local construction authority told a government news conference yesterday that a Metro Line 11 connection from downtown Shanghai to Kunshan is now being discussed by representatives of both cities.

Kunshan, a city of 1.6 million people that lies near Shanghai's suburban Jiading and Qingpu districts, is a vigorous commercial and industrial city.

Its water-town scenery has lured Shanghai people into buying weekend residences there over the past couple years, and it is home to many Taiwanese.

The Kunshan government and its business community have been asking Shanghai government to extend Line 11 to their city. And they stand a good chance of success as local authorities recently began talks on the idea, according to Jiang Shujie, a vice director of the city's construction administration.

Jiang said yesterday that city officials "have made supportive responses" to the plan raised by Kunshan but that it was too early to say whether the project will definitely proceed.

Still under construction, Metro Line 11 will run 126 kilometers across Pudong and through downtown Changning, Xuhui and Putuo districts and Jiading on the outskirts. The line's trains will have a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour, well above the current 80 kph.

The Line 11 project is split into northern and southern sections.

The first phase of the northern section will share Line 2's Jiangsu Road Station and extend to the Shanghai International Circuit, the city's Formula One race track, in Jiading District.

It is scheduled to open in May next year. The 46-kilometer trip will take 35 minutes.

The second phase will run 21 kilometers from Xuhui District to Pudong and will be open sometime after the 2010 World Expo.

The 59-kilometer southern section will be mostly in Pudong, ending in coastal Lingang New City in the south. Construction, which hasn't started yet, is expected to wrap up in 2012.