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CHONGQING
 China

Chongqing Monorail Metro Map

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 System

The city of Chongqing (formerly known as Chungking) lies in the centre of China on the Yangtze River. In its urban area it has a population of 8 million, with approx. 12 million in its metropolitan area.

 

 Line 1

Chongqing's first full subway runs from Chaotianmen (passenger port) at the east end of the central district to Shapingba in the west. The initial section was to be 16.4 km, but with limited service only starting between Jiaochangkou (L2) and Shapingba in July 2011.

28 July 2011: Jiaochangkou - Shapingba
27 Sept 2011: Jiaochangkou - Xiaoshizi
21 Dec 2012:
Shapingba - Daxuecheng (20 km)
28 Sept 2014: + Shijingpo station
30 Dec 2014: Daxuecheng - Jiandingpo (1.9 km)

Chongqing Subway Chongqing Subway Chongqing Subway

 

 Line 2

The first Chongqing Monorail line - from Jiaochangkou to Dongwuyuan (13 stations, 13.5 km) - opened in June 2005 after construction had started at the end of 1999.

The mostly elevated line starts at Jiaochangkou in the central district and used to end at Xinshancun in the southwestern industrial area. The total length was 19.2 km with 18 stations. In 2014, the line was extended south to Yudong, where it connects to monorail line 3.

Monorail trains were built by Changchun Rail Company and Hitachi.

18 June 2005: Jiaochangkou - Dongwuyuan
01 July 2006: Dongwuyuan - Xinshancun
30 Dec 2014: Xinshancun - Yudong (17 km)

Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail

 Line 3

Chongqing's second Monorail line runs north-south across the city centre linking Chongqing North Railway Station with the south bank of the Yangtze River. It uses combined road/rail bridges to cross the Yangtze (1.15 km) and Jialing Rivers (0.5 km).

29 Sept 2011: Lianglukou - Yuanyang (w/o Hongqihegou, Zhengjiayuanzi, Longtousi, Tongjiayuanzi) (17.5 km)
08 Oct 2011: Yuanyang - Changfulu
30 Dec 2011: Lianglukou - Ertang (w/o Gongmao, Tongyuanju)
30 Dec 2011: + Tongjiayuanzi station
30 Dec 2011: Changfulu - Jiangbei International Airport
01 Mar 2012: + Hongqihegou station
01 May 2012: + Zhengjiayuanzi station
28 Dec 2012: Ertang - Yudong (w/o Jinzhu, Huaxi, Chalukou)
28 Dec 2012: + Gongmao & Tongyuanju stations
31 Jan 2013: + Chalukou, Huaxi & Jinzhu stations
05 Feb 2013: + Longtousi station
28 Dec 2016: Bijin - Jurenba

 

Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail Chongqing Monorail
 Line 6

Chongqing's second full metro line, started running on the north shore of the Jialing River in 2012.

28 Sept 2012: Kangzhuang - Wulidian
26 Dec 2012: Kangzhuang - Lijia
15 May 2013: Lijia - Yuelai
31 Dec 2013: Lijia - Beibei
28 Sept 2014:
+ Tiansheng and Jiuquhe stations
26 Nov 2014:
+ Xiangjiagang station
30 Dec 2014: Wulidian - Chayuan (18 km)
28 Feb 2015: + Pingchang and Huangmaoping stations
26 Oct 2015: + Gaoyikou and Caojiawan stations
28 Jan 2016: + Jiangbeicheng station

Chongqing Subway Chongqing Subway Chongqing Subway Chongqing Subway

 

 Projects

Urban Rail Line "4": Shiqiaopu - Changshengqiao
The line will run north-south from Shiqiaopu to Changshengqiao, a length of 19.3 km. Of this, 8.4 km will be underground (mainly in the stretch north of the Yangtze), and 10.9 km will be elevated track (including over the Ergongyan Bridge). There will be 14 stations. This line will use four-axle carriages, and the Ergongyan Bridge has been constructed with the track in mind. It will pass through two junctions (Shiqiaopu and Shigongli), and the three underground lines in the city will be connected to it to form a complete network. Construction scheduled after 2010.

Urban Rail Line "5" (Light Rail Line): Tongjiayuanzi - Zhongliangshan
Runs from Chongqing New Station in the northern urban area (Tongjiayuanzi), ends at Zhongliangshan, a total length of 28.6 km. Of this there will be 8.6 km underground (mainly in the Shapingba section), 20 km elevated track (including over the Shimahe Jialing River Bridge). There will be 18 stations. In the long term the line will be extended northwards to Jiangbei Airport (about 14 km) and southwards to Xinshancun (about 6 km). It will join up with the planned Jiaochangkou to Xinshancun Light Rail to form an elevated light rail line, with a total length of approximately 62 km. Construction scheduled to start after 2010.

 Impressions

Craig Moore reports after his visit in June 2017:

Chongqing is a large city in central China, dominated by rapid, and often chaotic, urban development. The city has a stunning location, engulfed by mountains, valleys and gorges, with the city centre full of high-rise buildings, located on a tongue-shaped spit of land at the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers. It is this topography that makes the city and its Metro so interesting, necessitating different rail modes and bold infrastructure. The 4-line system is operated by Chongqing Rapid Transit (CRT) and offers 2 Monorail lines (built and operated to Metro standard) and 2 full Metro lines. It has 205.2km of revenue route, of which 98.3km is underground.

Monorail Lines:
Given the topography of the area, most of the uniqueness and grandeur of the system comes from the two straddle beam monorail lines. Line 2 is the original urban rail line in the city and is 30.3km (2.4km underground) with 25 stations (3 underground), running from the centre at Jiaochangkou to Yudong in the south. Jianchangkou has a long transfer to Line 1 and from here the route travels 1.3km underground before elevated running begins at Huanghuayuan. This stretch, on the southern bank of the Jialing, offers impressive views to the north and west. Niujiaotuo provides interchange to Line 3 and involves a pleasant walk along an open-sided corridor to the Line 3 platforms above - the views from both stations are wonderful. Further west is Liziba, a station famed for being built into an apartment block. Although the platform and entrance area of this station are not particularly interesting, the notion that you are stood on the 6th floor of a tall apartment block is, and again the views across the river to the north are mightily impressive. The line soon turns south with a 1.1km underground section at Daping (connection to Line 6) with this newer section of the line running above main roads, through dense residential and commercial areas. Some services terminate at Chongqing Zoo and from here the service becomes less busy as it heads to the terminus of Yudong, a huge two-island station with connection to Line 3.

Line 3 has equally staggering infrastructure, views and passenger numbers. At 66.1km (14.8km underground), it is the longest monorail line in the world and houses 45 stations (12 underground). From Yudong, the line runs elevated through a very dense and hectic urban environment, passing major population areas such as Ertang and Sigongli. A 2.4km underground section around Naping emerges at Tongyuanju to cross the Caiyuanba bridge, high above the Yangtze. North of the Yangtze, the line runs underground for 1.1km through the city centre, passing Lianglukou (interchange with Line 1 and Chongqing Rail Station) before becoming elevated again at Niujiaotuo (see Line 2) to cross the Yuao Monorail Bridge above the Jialing - the views on this stretch being spectacular. Two meandering underground sections (5.2km/5 stations and 2.7km/2 stations-including north railway station) follow, before the line emerges at Tongjiayuanzi. This is a smart station with overhead walkways across the tracks for great views of the line and stabling facilities. Further north, two more underground sections (3.9km total) puncture the route which winds and undulates above busy streets and through dense housing and commercial areas, especially around Yuangyang – here, you really get a sense of how huge this city is. Approaching Bijin there are great views of the airport to the east and Bijin itself is a two-island station with the airport branch being served by the exterior beams. Here southbound trains from the airport and Jurenba arrive simultaneously with passengers changing trains (different stopping patterns after the city centre) and the service from Jurenba dwells for quite some time before departing. The 1.2km airport branch (1km underground) is the main line and the destination for most services, with the station (Terminal 2) having quite dull, shallow platforms, and a chaotic entrance hall and facilities unable to cope effectively with demand at peak times. The newer 10.6km northern branch is served only every 18mins and passenger numbers on this section are lower, as is the urban density. The ride, though, is noticeably smoother and the stations fresh, with the 1.2km underground section housing smart Konggang Square station.

Both monorail lines are of Metro standard with high capacity stock, high frequencies and Metro standard stations. The underground stations have mainly island platforms with full screens, RTI, platform information and are very much of a typical Chinese design. The strip maps on the platform screens are unique with angled station names - Line 3 taking up three panels to cover its entire length. The elevated sections have some steep gradient changes and long curvatures as the routes negotiate natural and man-made barriers and stations are huge, clunky and a little worn now, especially on the original sections. They predominantly have side platforms with platform gates, RTI and information boards. These stations have open sides and high roofs - every station providing interesting views of the immediate urban-ness and/or the distant mountains that surround the city. In the north there are some smarter stations, but again the design is quite benign. Both lines use high capacity CNR (Hitachi technology) stock (Line 2 has 4-car sets, whilst Line 3 uses 6/8-car units). Much of the stock is emblazoned with exterior and interior advertising and is quite tatty. Trains have side seating, schematic map (Chinese only) and strip maps located above the doors. There is also electronic and audio information in Chinese and English. Services run from 0630-2230 and headways are impressive - both lines have short-running services allowing lower headways in the periphery to form 4-6min frequencies on well-used sections in the main city area. The lines can run quite slowly, and there are lengthy dwell times, but overall they are a joy to ride.

Full Metro Lines:
Lines 1 and 6 are mainly underground with typical Chinese station layout (island platforms/full platform screens/line maps in Mandarin and English/RTI). Line 1 is the busiest line on the system and was the first full Metro line to be built in Chongqing (2011), a period which saw a rapid expansion of CRT provision across the city. It has 37.2km of revenue track (22.1km underground) with 23 stations (15 underground). Running west from chaotic Xiaoshizi (for the Yangtze Cable Car) in the main retail area of the city, the line runs in deep tunnel and there is a rather formulaic look and feel to stations and environment. Daping provides interchange to Line 2 and, after Lieshimu, the line has an elevated alignment (with the exception of a tunnel after Shuangbei) which runs above busy roads in dense housing areas and has noise reduction panelling. The newest and longest line on the CRT network, Line 6 is 76.1km (59.0km underground), including the 11.8km ‘International Expo Line’ branch from Lijia (33 stations/27 underground). From Chayuan in the southeast, the line runs through low density areas and in a long tunnel under Chongqing South Mountain before crossing the Yangtze at Shangxinjie and entering the city centre at the narrow tip of the promontory. After Xiaoshizi (see Line 1) the line emerges from tunnel to cross the Qiansimen Bridge above the Jialing to Grand Theatre station. This is a partly open station with great views of the city, river and the rail traffic on the bridge itself. The underground stations on this line have a smarter appearance, with glazed tiling in bold colours, which often clash with the pale pink of the line identifier. At Dazhulin there is a 5.3km elevated section before the line returns underground at Lijia. Here, the International Expo Line runs a 10min frequency shuttle from parallel platforms, with co-ordinated arrivals and departures on both lines. This part of the city is less densely populated and the line continues northwest with longer station gaps, running underground with the exception of the second crossing of the Jialing and at Longfengxi, where there are large shedding facilities.

Newer stations on the full Metro lines have smart entrances and are clean and spacious, with Line 6 having a more modern overall appearance. Underground stations are mainly in island form with typical Chinese format and content, whilst elevated stations have side platforms, half screens and broad arched roofing. These lines operate from 0630-2230 and use standard gauge with overhead power supply. Headways are 4/6mins with short-running on some Line 6 services giving only 10min headways in outer areas and the branch line. The 6-car CNR stock has red or pink cabs and the interiors are bright and clean, with side seating and colour-coded trim. Although the schematic is in Chinese only, there are electronic and audio announcements in Mandarin and English.

Using the CRT system:
On introduction, the CRT can appear quite frustrating. Many central station entrances do not have porticos but are open stairs down to the ticket hall. As such, they merge into the plethora of street furniture and general activity - with awareness of a station location only coming from nearby, thanks to the short totem with green CRT logo atop (surely one of the inelegant urban rail logos around). Stations are not particularly stylish, ticket machines are temperamental, and wayfinding is not as smart or slick as other systems in the country. In general, China has emulated, and now often surpassed, Hong Kong in wayfinding, but CRT took a more exclusive path, using a Japanese company to design signage, linked, no doubt, to early Japanese influence on the monorail lines. Whilst a different design aesthetic can be welcomed, I found some of the wayfinding quite basic and confusing, no doubt added to by the long and sometime convoluted transfer between lines in the centre and the high passenger volumes.

Fares are distance-based at 2-9 Yuan and tickets are in card form which are scanned on entry and slotted on exit. A CRT Day Pass (18 Yuan) is also promoted in the tourist literature, although this is not sold at the machines and the staff in the ticket offices seem not to know of its existence. Many of these offices are closed and there seems to be quite limited staffing by Chinese standards. Mappage provision is also mixed. Unlike in the past, there is no hard-copy maps or information available and the schematic in stations and on the train is in Chinese only. Thankfully the strip maps on platform screens and on trains have Roman text also – these line maps being quite unique in style. On all information, stations are identified by line and station number, again following the Japanese/Korean approach (e.g. Niujiatuo is 2-06 and 3-19). The schematic map itself is in square form, compressing the system considerably in the north and south, but it is smart and functional and quite different in style from the usual Chinese map. One interesting point to note is that the logo identifying both main rail stations served by the CRT, is that of British Rail (if only the BR system were as modern and slick as CRH!).

But the irritations are tiny really and are dwarfed by the joy of riding the system. With excellent coverage across the city, massive patronage levels, impressive infrastructure, different modes, amazing views, and great service levels – the system really puts on a show.

 Links

Chongqing Monorail's official website

Chongqing Monorail Map at Johomaps

Chongqing Metro at Wikipedia

Chongqing Urban Rail Lines on Baidu Map

 

 

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2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)