In the newest environment review report published by the Chinese Academy of Railway Science, 8 of the 14 stations being planned for Subway Line 3 will be built starting from later this year. Rather than waiting for the entire set of 14 stations in the eastern part of the line, the first 8 are being fast-tracked and will start construction sooner, due to massive traffic pressure above-ground.
These stations will be the following (names except those at built interchanges are all tentative; wholly unbuilt stations in italics):
- Dongsi Shitiao 东四十条 (interchange to Line 2)
- Workers Stadium 工人体育场 (interchange to Line 17)
- Tuanjiehu 团结湖 (interchange to Line 10)
- Chaoyang Park 朝阳公园 (interchange to Line 14)
- Shifoying 石佛营
- Xinghuo Railway Station (interchange with Beijing-Shenyang HSR and future regional express subway)
- Chaoyang Sports Centre 体育中心
- Pingfancun (Pingfang Village) 平房村
- Dongbazhongjie (Dongba Middle Street) 东坝中街
According to late 2015 plans, Line 3 will be a 37.4 km (23⅓ mi) east-west line from Tiancun through to Caogezhuang North, with total of 27 stations. The CNY 41.5 billion line is expected to be built from 2016 through to 2021.
The fast-tracked portion may be just over a quarter of the length of the entire line, but it will bring relief to some of the most congested parts of eastern urban Beijing, especially along the heavily-congested Gongrentiyuchang North Road (Workers Stadium North Road).
Whilst shorter lines could mean a faster realisation period (for example, the one-station extension to the Airport Express will need only 3 years, instead of 5 for a “usual” subway line), the countdown and the accompanying pressure is there — and it looks like it might be a near-miss for Line 3 to connect up with the Beijing-Shenyang HSR at Xinghuo, when the latter is ready for a late 2019. Tracking China is hoping, however, that it might be sped up even more — infrastructure in the city, especially for overground lines (even those with a few miles underground), have a tendency to be built at amazing speeds.