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TIANJIN
 China

Tianjin Subway Map © UrbanRail.Net

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 TIANJIN

Tianjin (Tientsin, Tenshin, 9.3 million inhabitants) has always been an important inland harbour, situated 40 km from the Yellow Sea (Bohai Gulf) and 130 km from Beijing (Peking).

 

 Subway Line 1

Tianjin was the second city in China to build an underground railway. Construction of the present line 1 started in 1970. It runs only 2-3 metres under the city's streets, partly using a driedout canal bed. The construction was interrupted by the 1976 earthquake and was resumed and finished between 1979 and 1984. The line started at Xin Hua Road (now Xiaobailou), and finished at the West Railway Station (Xizhan). The total length was 7.4 km. The Tianjin metro has 1435 mm gauge and it uses 825Vdc 3rd rail power supply. Most stations have side platforms.

The original Tianjin metro line closed in 2001 for reconstruction and extension. The extended line eventually opened in summer 2006.

10 Aug 1980: Xinanjiao - Xinhua Road (5.2 km)
28 Dec 1984: Xinanjiao - West Railway Station (2.2 km)
09 Oct 2001: Line 1 closed for reconstruction and extension

12 Jun 2006: Liuyuan - Shuanglin (26.2 km)
28 Dec 2016: Shuanglin elevated station closed
03 Dec 2018: Shuanglin (reopened underground) - Lilou (1.5 km)

Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway

 

 Subway Line 2

East-west line initially operated in two sections, due to a construction accident on the central section. After completion of the central section in 2013, the line was 23.5 km long with 19 stations. A 4 km extension to Binhai International Airport (Terminal 2) was added in 2014.

01 July 2012: Caozhuang - Dongnanjiao and Tianjinzhan - Konggangjingjiqu
18 Nov 2012: + Jieyuan Xidao
28 Aug 2013: Dongnanjiao - Tianjinzhan (Tianjin Railway Station)
28 Aug 2014: Konggangjingjiqu - Binhaiguojijichang (Binhai Int'l Airport)

 

Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway

 

 Subway Line 3

North-south line, 34 km with 26 stations

01 Oct 2012: Xiaodian - Gaoxinqu
28 Dec 2013: Gaoxinqu - Nanzhan (South Railway Station)

Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway

 

 Subway Line 5

33 km with 28 stations when complete

22 Oct 2018: Danhebeidao - Zhongyiyifuyuan (30 km)
31 Jan 2019: Danhebeidao - Beichenkejiyuanbei (2 km)

Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway

 

 Subway Line 6

45 km with 39 stations

06 Aug 2016: Changhong Gongyuan - Nancuiping
31 Dec 2016: Changhong Gongyuan - South Sunzhuang
26 Apr 2018: Nancuiping - Meilinlu (19 km)

Tianjin Subway Line 6 Tianjin Subway Line 6 Tianjin Subway Line 6

 

 Binhai Line (Line 9)

The TEDA (Tianjin Economic Developing Area) industrial zone has been Tianjin's fastest developing area. But commuting between downtown and TEDA has become a serious problem. Although there were already 3 express highways and 1 railway between them, a mass transit line was still required. With a sum of 5.92 billion Yuan (USD 0.71 billion) that was invested by the new company named Binhai Mass Transit Developing, the construction started in 2001. And it was finished in late October 2003. The original LRT Binhai line is 45.4 km long running from Zhongshanmen to Donghailu (Control Centre). Construction began in early 2004.

28 March 2004: Binhai Line Zhongshanmen - Donghailu (trial operation: only 6 stations opened for public, plus two - Hujiayuan and Huizhanzhongxin - for special occasions only)
25 May 2004: Yihaoqiao station added
18 Oct 2004: Shiminguangchang station added
27 March 2005: Huizhanzhongxin fully opened
28 April 2005: Erhaoqiao station added, and Yihaoqiao closed; two stations renamed: Yanghuoshichang > Tanggu, Dongtinglu > TEDA
01 June 2006: Yihaoqiao station reopened and Hujiayuan fully opened; New Xinlizhen, Xiaodongzhuang and Junliangcheng stations added
01 May 2011: Zhongshanmen - Shiyijinglu
15 Oct 2012: Shiyijinglu - Tianjinzhan (Tianjin Railway Station)

31 Dec 2016: Zhangguizhuang and Taihulu stations added

Tianjin Subway BMT Tianjin Subway BMT Tianjin Subway BMT

 

 TEDA Modern Guided Rail Tram

The TEDA (Tianjin Economic Developing Area) industrial zone is served by a Translohr rubber-tyred tram on an 8 km north-south line with 14 stops.

10 May 2007: TEDA (Line 9 station) - College District North

Tianjin TEDA Translohr tram Tianjin TEDA Translohr tram Tianjin TEDA Translohr tram

 

 Projects

Several lines are under construction:

- Line 4
- Line 8

 

 Links

TRT (Tianjin Rail Transit - Official Site)

Tianjin Binhai Mass Transit Development Co. (LRT - Official Site)

Tianjin Metro at Wikipedia

TEDA Translohr Tram at Wikipedia

Tianjin Subway Map at Johomaps

 Photos

Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway Tianjin Subway

Tianjin Metro Line Diagram

 

In Dec 2018, Craig Moore sends an updated report from Tianjin:

Introduction
As the port and traditional gateway for Beijing, Tianjin has long had a strategic and commercial importance, and during the ‘concessions’ the city was controlled by no less than eight European powers (IT.DE.FR.RU.UK.OS.BE), as well as Japan. Today, this large city is one of four municipalities directly reporting to the central government (not belonging to a Province). Within a Chinese context, Tianjin also has an urban rail legacy, being the second city after Beijing to build and operate a Metro. Opening in 1984 with a mere 7.4km service in the central area, the Tianjin Metro has not had a typically incremental expansion, but a quite fractured development. Despite a lengthy building process, Line 1 was constructed economically and, as other Metros in the near-region began operations, this small, unappealing system did not fare well in comparison. As a result, in 2001, just 16 years after opening, the system closed for five years for modernisation and expansion. During this period, the mainly elevated and separately operated BMT Binhai Line (now Line 9) opened. A second Tianjin Metro line (Line 2), opened in 2012, but suffered flooding and the line had to operate as two separate shuttles for one year. Since then however, operations have stabilised and there has been a steady expansion of the system with the openings of Lines 3, 5 and 6. The system now offers 206.6km of service (18th longest in world), two-thirds of which is underground (138.4km), and houses 140 stations.

The Tianjin Metro has two operating companies (Tianjin Metro (Lines 1/2/3/6) and BMT (Line 5/9) and in the past, there were distinct differences between the two companies. Now, branding and ticketing is unified and there is an overarching body (Tianjin Rail Transit-TRT) which is the primary identity for the Metro. To all intent and purpose, this is a single system.

Lines
Line 1 is 27.0km in length and has a mix of underground running (17.2km) in the central area, and is elevated/grade in the periphery. The oldest and busiest of the lines, it uses third rail power and has 6min base headways on the 50min journey. The new stock is smart with a red-black livery and, unusual for China, it has windows into the driver’s cab for good views of the line. The stock is CNR and made up of 6-carriage sets with side seating. The stations on Line 1 have the usual ticket hall layout but platforms are quite distinctive with half screens, and a worn feel. They are also very dim and have quite narrow platforms with grey/white tiling and large red Chinese characters mounted on the wall as station names.

Line 2 also operates 7min headways and uses 6-car CNR stock. The line is third rail powered and runs east-west for 24.9km and is totally underground save a short 1.4km grade section at Konggangjingjiqu (side platforms) before heading on a 5min run south to the impressive airport (total journey time 47mins). The street entrances on this line (and Line 1) are quite basic, but the stations are smart and clean and very much of the Chinese template with full platform screens and information in Mandarin and English (electronic and audio). At Tianjinzhan (a huge station) the line provides cross-platform interchange with Line 9 but the interconnection to Line 3 involves a very long walk, such is the size of the station (see below).

The opening of Line 3 started to improve the style of the system. This line runs from the north to southwest for 33.4km again utilising third-rail power supply. There is a mix of alignments with a lengthy 23.5km underground section in the north and centre, and grade/elevated running in the far north and the southwest around Gaoxinqu. The underground station interiors are stylish as are the elevated stations, with their huge canopied roofs. There is a mix of side and island platforms. Smart CSR Qingdao stock is used in 6-car formations, although headways are 8mins and dwell times are longer on this line than others, making the entire journey 59mins.

The latest addition to the system, Line 5, is fully underground and has to be one of the most beautiful lines in China (a country with many beautiful lines!). Its’ 29.9km houses beautiful bright white and bold orange stations with interesting ceiling designs, spacious entrance areas and wonderful calligraphic station names. Platforms have been built for seven cars but stylish six car CRRC stock operates (overhead power supply) at 8min headways. The line meanders across the city connecting with all other lines on the system and, together with line 6, it forms a loop around the main central area of Tianjin, massively improving transfer connectivity for the former radial lines. The southern part of the line includes a 2.3km shared section with Line 6, the two western stations having cross platform transfer on stacked platforms, whilst Wenhuazhongxin involves a lengthy transfer but is a stunningly beautiful station. Line 6 opened in two stages and, at 42.2km (0.9km above ground), it is the longest full metro line on the system. It runs from the north-east and skirts the outer areas of the western city before heading south west to Meilinlu. Using new 6-car CRRC stock the line runs at 8min frequencies and the stations have quite a distinctive style with the stair walls and shafts on the platform being of brick form, as well as offering different motifs across various stations.

Line 9 is more distinctive than the other lines. This is partly a result of its differentiated ownership at its inception, with different stock and brand; and partly because it is mainly elevated and operates as a regional metro service. The originally titled Binhai Mass Transit Line (BMT) it is now fully branded as part of the TRT system. The line runs from the centre of Tianjin to the Binhai New District, via the TEDA economic zone. The 51.5km line is only underground within the Tianjin city area (5.8km underground). At the western terminus of Tianjinzhan the service pulls into a central single line with two island platforms on either side. Entry and exit is via either side and allows for cross platform interchange in either direction to Line 2 services. The underground section runs very slowly and the stations have a pale blue, slightly dated feel. After Zhongshanmen the line is also known as the Jinbin Light Rail and forms a rapid transit link between the Tianjin urban area and the Binhai port. On this elevated section the train speed increases but the stations (all elevated with side platforms) look slightly shabby and dated, with half platform screens, no next-train information and a very ugly strip map . These stations were built for 6-car lengths but the CNR sets on this service are powered by overhead lines and run as 4-car trains. They are also more unkempt than the metro trains and operate 8min headways, with a full journey taking 1h03. This line also provides interchange with the TEDA tram at Taida.

Using the system
The ease of using the system has improved in recent years and it is now straight forward with simple, barrier-free interchange across all lines and reasonable distance-based fares (2-9 Yuan) offered in green RFID token form. Services run from 0600-2200/2230 and transfer between lines is well signed, colour coded and is very easy. Signage and all electronic and audio communication is in Mandarin and English. The audio is important on Line 1 as some 1 stations have no Pinyin wall plates. There are, however, a couple of issues with navigation which are all the more evident as other systems in China improve and simplify this aspect of operations. The first issue is Tianjingzhang station. This is the largest and busiest station on the metro system and also the main rail station in the city for national rail services and so is the first point of access to the Tianjin Metro for many people. The subway station here hosts three lines (2/3/9) and is a huge circular structure lying below the main rail station. It is however, one of the most, if not ‘the’ most, frustrating metro station in China. Its cavernous pale surroundings create a very sterile hollow environment, It is a sea of barriers which steer passengers to entry points at the peripheries of the space. Here the ticket machines are tucked away in little corners and there are too few for demand. Directional signage to lines/platforms has improved in the last 18 months but it remains an issue that schematic maps of the system are difficult to find at this level and so new users to the system may be confused as to which line they require.

This is made more frustrating by the fact that the customer information centre has no hard copy information (nor do any other booths in any station-except some introductory brochures at Line 5 stations) and you are shown a photocopy of the map and pointed to an area of the station where there is access to the appropriate platform. At other stations there are schematic maps at the entrance level and at platform level but they are quite small and part of the information boards. On the older lines, these boards are not well located and so, unless you know the terminus station you may well be unsure of which direction you need to take. The newer lines have addressed this and have much improved the location of maps and wayfinding in general. Nonetheless, Tianjin is the only major system in China not to offer hard copy maps. At stations, the map is in landscape form and is a truer geographic representation but on trains it is in portrait and a different style. In both cases the font is so small that it is almost impossible to read.

And so…..the new expanded system in Tianjin is impressive in so many ways and overall this is a nice metro, but a couple of minor points are a little irritating, especially in a country where wayfinding is generally flawless.

Tianjin Subway Map Tianjin Subway Map Tianjin Subway Map
Click on maps to enlarge! (2016 © C. Moore)
 

 


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2004 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)