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Suzhou Metro Railway Planning Obtains Official Approved

According sources of department concerned on Feb. 8, "The Construction Planning of Suzhou Urban Speedy Rail Traffic" was officially approved by the State Council, making Suzhou the first prefecture-level municipality to be approved to build the metro light traffic line.

To resolve the problem of traffic without affecting the protection of the ancient city of Suzhou, the municipal authorities have started research on rail traffic since 1996, and the planning was completed in 2004 after 10 years’ painstaking efforts, and submitted to examination and evaluation by authorities of the state and province on many occasions. The plan was then submitted to General Office of the State Council in September 2006.  The State Council gave official approval to the establishment of the project on Feb. 5 after consulting with National Reform and Development Commission, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Land and Resources. The next step will be for Suzhou government to work out the construction plan for final approval.

The planned Suzhou metro railway includes line 1, 2, 3 (with a branch), and 4, with a total distance of 141 kilometers threading 107 stations and forming two vertical and two horizontal lines. The construction will be carried out in short-term and long-term stages, to be completed by 2020. The fast city rail traffic will then make up over 40% of the public transport and 27.8% of the total traffic volume of the city.

Construction of the first phase will be unfolded from 2007 to 2012 in the east-west Line No. 1 and the south-north Line No. 2. Line 1, starting from Lingtian Road in western Suzhou and extending eastward to Zhongnan Street in SIP with a distance of 26.1 kilometers with 24 stations, will be completed by 2011. Line 2, starting from Beijing-Shanghai Fast Railway Station and going southward to South Outer Ring Road in Wuzhong Economic Development Zone with a distance of 27 kilometers and 22 stations, will completed by 2009 to 2012.

The No. 1 Railway, passing through the axis from west to east of the city, will chiefly function to lessen the heavy city traffic volume of Suzhou and to link up the ancient city proper with SND in the west and SIP in the east in promotion of the interactive development of the three urban districts.

The city railway No. 2 will link up the township in the southern and northern parts of the municipality, speed up the development of the south-north axis for closer connections among the old city proper, Xiangcheng District, and Wuzhong District, and pave the way for the construction of new urban zones of Pingjiang District and Canglang District.

Feb. 9, 2007

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