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Chongqing Municipality Opens World’s Largest Urban Rail Transit Network in Mountainous Area

ChinaChongqing Municipality Opens World's Largest Urban Rail Transit Network in Mountainous Area

On February 27, Chongqing municipality announced the completion of a 500-kilometer urban rail transit line, which is said to be the largest rail transit network in a mountainous area worldwide. This achievement marks Chongqing as the eighth city in China to operate a rail transit line over 500 km, following the likes of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Wuhan.

In recent years, China has been leading the world in rail transit construction and operation. According to the Ministry of Transport, by the end of 2022, 53 cities have operated a total of 9,584 km of rail transit lines. Chongqing Rail Transit has been instrumental in achieving many firsts in the country and has become one of the city’s significant features, thanks to its innovative designs and advanced technology, as pointed out by Yue Shun, the director of the Chongqing Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

The local government’s plan for Chongqing’s rail transit system is projected to exceed 1,000 km by 2025, with a daily average passenger traffic in major urban districts exceeding 6 million travelers, accounting for more than half of the city’s public transportation.

Chongqing’s urban mass transit system currently comprises 12 lines, including two monorails. Given the city’s geography, transportation can be challenging and requires creativity. Chongqing boasts the country’s longest rail transit mountain tunnel – the Tongluoshan Tunnel of Line 6 – and the deepest subway station in the country – Hongyan Village Station of Line 9.

Chongqing built its first urban rail Line 2 in 2004 in the densely populated downtown area with rugged terrain, which was China’s first monorail and the first rail transit line in western China. The heavy-monorail technology imported from Japan has made it possible to negotiate steep grades, tight curves, and rapid transit capacity.

One of the most famous stations in the world, Liziba Station on Line 2, became an instant sensation on social media after videos of the metro train passing through a 19-story residential building went viral. The station and the building were built simultaneously in the early 2000s to save space, using specialized noise reduction equipment to isolate station noise from the surrounding residences. Tourists must visit the station, and a viewing platform was specially built near the station for them to admire the trains.

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