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SUZHOU
 China

Suzhou Subway Map

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 METRO

The Chinese city of Suzhou lies in the province of Jiangsu, some 80 km west of Shanghai. It has some 2.3 million inhabitants in the urban area, and 6 million in the larger metropolitan area.

The planned Suzhou metro network includes lines 1, 2, 3 (with a branch), and 4, with a total length of 141 kilometers with 107 stations, and comprising two north-south and two east-west lines. The construction is to be completed by 2020.

 Line 1

25 km with 24 stations, east-west; after construction had started on 26 Dec 2006, the line was opened in April 2012.

28-04-2012: Mudu - Zhongnan Jie

Suzhou Metro Suzhou Metro Suzhou Metro
 Line 2

Starting from the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Station and going southward to South Outer Ring Road in Wuzhong Economic Development Zone with a length of 27 km and 22 stations. After being extended in both directions in Sept. 2016, it has a total length of 40.4 km.

28-12-2013: Suzhou North Railway Station - Baodaiqiao South
24-09-2016: Suzhou North Railway Station - Qihe and Baodaiqiao South - Sangtian Dao

Suzhou Metro Suzhou Metro Suzhou Metro
 Line 4

52.8 km north-south line(38 stations) with two branches at southern end. The Muli branch will become part of Line 7 in the future.

15-04-2017: Longdaobang - Tongli (42 km) + branch Hongzhuang - Muli (10.8 km)

 TRAM

SND (Suzhou New District) Tram Line 1: Suzhou Amusement Land - Long'an Lu
- opened 26 Oct 2014
- 18.1 km, in southwestern Gaoxin district
- Rolling stock: 18 100% low-floor bidirectional trams manufactured by CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock Co., based on Bombardier’s Flexity 2; 32.2 m long and 2.65 m wide

Suzhou Tram map

SND Tram SND Tram

 

 

 Photos

Metro Suzhou Metro Suzhou

Metro Suzhou Metro Suzhou

Metro Suzhou Metro Suzhou

 Links

Suzhou Subway (Official Website)

Suzhou Subway at Wikipedia

 

 Report

In April 2017, Craig Moore sends his views on Suzhou:

Located in the centre of the Yangtze Delta, just 30mins by CRH from Shanghai, Suzhou is one of the most ancient cities in the world, and now, one of the fastest growing (economically and demographically). As such, the city provides an interesting juxtaposition between the old and new China, with high rise vistas mixed with quaint canals and UNESCO listed historic sites.

The Suzhou Metro opened in 2012 and now offers two lines and 66.1km of service. The system is roughly the same size of more established systems such as Montreal or Kiev, and yet the old adage of ‘being identified by the company you keep’, does not apply in this case. The Suzhou Metro is a very basic system with few redeeming features. Both lines began construction during the phase of rapid expansion of Chinese Metros and are of the simple model used across China.

Line 1 is 25.7km and runs east-west from the industrial area at Zhongnan Road to Mudu, near Mt. Tianping. The line has 24 stations and takes 46mins to complete the journey. It is fully underground and uses 5-car CSR Nanjing stock. This has a unique frontage with protruding base. The interior is quite pale with side seating, grab poles, LCD screens (showing original Tom and Jerry cartoons) and only one schematic map per carriage, tucked away by the end door). As is the norm in China, audio and electronic information is offered in Chinese and English. The line runs at 6min base headways and, with the exception of two long 45-degree curves around Suzhou Amusement Land (see below), it is pretty uneventful. Interchange to the newer Line 2 is at Guangli Nanlu. This is the only underground station on the entire system to have side platforms and Line 2 lies below and perpendicular to Line 1.

Line 2 operates 7min headways using 5-car CSR sets which have a white and pale blue livery and yellow seating. These trains have Mandarin and English information but, unlike Line 1, also have a plentiful supply of schematic maps within the train. Running from the southeast of the city at Sangtiandao to QiHe in the northeast, the line runs in a ‘C’ shape but runs north-south from Shilu Donglu to Dawan, stopping at many trip-generating points including Pingjiang New Town, Canglang New Town, Suzhou Railway Station, North Railway Station and Shilu Commercial Area. It is 40.4km in length and has 35 stations, taking 1h14 to complete the trip. In the north there is a 6.9km elevated stretch (5 stations). Although the line runs smoothly and is an improvement on Line 1 in several ways, I did expect more - opening as it did in 2016, when newer Chinese systems were offering more distinctive stations and stock. I was surprised by how formulaic and rudimentary this line is.

As for the overall system, stations are of a basic structure. Angular entrance porticos with small Totem lead down to ticket halls with several banks of nice ticket machines, security lines and customer service centres, many of which are not used. This area has station information boards with a dreadful geographic map, locational map and station opening information. The ticket halls are not full of activity and there are many staff standing around with few passengers to share the space with - it has a very underused feel. A central lift is shouldered by two sets of stairs/escalators which deliver you to the very ends of island platforms which, as they host 5-car sets, do appear quite short in length when compared to the 6-car norm. Broad pillars with mosaic tiling limit any chance of an open view of the platform and there is a cluttered feel to these areas, which have full platform screens, small seating areas, RTI TVs and, at the ends of platforms, a ‘jerky’ schematic map which shows the unopened Line 4. On Line 1 the station names have been photocopied on A2 sheets and taped to the pillars and as you travel it is difficult to see which station you have arrived at. Line 2 has learnt from this and stations have bold calligraphic station names with a deeper colour scheme. The elevated stations in the north are very basic, with side platforms, half screens, an arched, partly opened roof, and with a rather dated feel. Tickets are card based and fares are distance based (2-6 Yuan). Disappointingly, there are many (empty) information racks, and no hard-copy information is on offer. Although signage is adequate and there are system maps around, they are not numerous and are badly positioned and it all adds to the inelegance of the system. On the whole this is pretty disappointing. Stations are bland and empty, there is low patronage, information is limited and of poor quality and there is no hard-copy information and the stock is quite unstylish.

The city has one other urban rail offer. At Suzhou Amusement Land, the Metro offers physical interchange to the Suzhou SND Tram where stairs from the Metro station ticket hall lead directly to the tram platform. The tram runs on grassed segregated track at 7min headways from 0630 to 2200. Like the Metro, it is not well used and when I visited there were two staff members for every passenger. Trams, with their flat gold scheme, are smart (CSR built) and the interior is fresh with a mix of side and paired seating but the line lacks any real character.

It all adds up to an instantly forgettable urban rail experience, and it is disappointing given the stature of Suzhou as a city.

 

2017 Suzhou Metro Map
Click to enlarge!

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2008 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)