Just today, the part of Subway Line 14 between Xiju and Zhangguozhang stations opened. This part isn’t exactly in central Beijing; you had to ride Line 10 out to Xiju, in western urban Beijing, to get on the new line.
And why so far, might you ask? That’s because this very part of Line 14 will serve the Garden Expo Park, which gets underway shortly. By getting a subway connection out here, it’s hoped that people will “ride green” to enjoy an equally green show.
The new Line 14 is managed by the Beijing MTR, who also runs Subway Line 4 and the Daxing Line. As expected, all stations feature announcements in British English, and upkeep is very much clean.
The new trains make up something new: they’re the first “Type A” trains, which are wider than the current “Type B” trains. They’re still made up of 6 cars, though, but future lines featuring 8-car “Type A” trains are already being readied.
The part of the line that goes to the Garden Expo Park and the westernmost terminus, Zhangguozhuang, is actually above-ground, and especially in good weather, can be a feast for the eyes.
The new Zhangguozhuang station, which is the westernmost terminus of the line, is unique in that it features full-height platform screen doors, which are of course there because the new trains run on overhead power lines, a first for the Beijing Subway. However, they don’t go all the way to the ceiling, unlike those on the MTR’s own West Rail Line in Hong Kong, or even the above-ground stations on Beijing’s Subway Line 15. This makes it appear rather odd.
The Zhangguozhuang terminus is an impressive, mostly-glass building, with wide entrances that are covered (a major improvement over the somewhat hastily-designed ones on Line 5 and even the Fangshan Line).
Station concourses are spacious, and a major improvement introduced on Line 14 are wall-mounted mini signs. Used and placed properly, they can be a great help for those lost at a brand new station!
Of course, the most important station on this part of Line 14 has to be the Garden Expo Park. It’s above-ground, and luckily enough, a picture was snapped of two trains at this station — not often that something like this happens!
And, of course, the media were on assignment, with Beijing TV reporting from this key station on the opening of the new line.
One of the best things about Beijing MTR is their attention to detail. All stations come with both ATM machines and vending machines, which can accept both cash and the Beijing Yikatong transit card.
Trains running on this part of the line will only run to Xiju for the moment. The rest of the line from Xiju out east past Beijing South Railway Station, then up north via the CBD to Wangjing, will open later.
This will mean, unfortunately, that this new part of Line 14 will not be able to serve the Beijing South Railway Station. For that, you’ll need to change to a Line 10 train, then travel to Jiaomen West for the connection to Jiaomen West, where you can connect onto Line 4.
Oh, and by the way, today also marks the opening of the remaining part of Line 10 via the to-be-rebuilt Fengtai Railway Station, marking the completion of the city’s outer loop line. What an achievement!