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Qingdao Tram


Qingdao (Tsingtao), a city in eastern Shandong province, has some 2.7 million inhabitants.

Construction of a 25 km subway line (M3) with 22 stations started in June 2009. The first section opened in Dec 2015. Meanwhile, a second line has been added.


 Line 2

10 Dec 2017: Zhiquanlu - Licun Gongyuan (21.2 km)


 Line 3

16 Dec 2015: Qingdao Beizhan (North Railway Station) - Shuangshan (12 km)
18 Dec 2016: Shuangshan - Qingdao Zhan (Qingdao Railway Station) (12.8 km)


Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro


The city plans to build eight lines by 2050 with a total length of 231.5 km.


Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Qingdao Metro Map

Qingdao Metro (Official Site)

Qingdao Metro at Wikipedia



In May 2016, Craig Moore reports from Qingdao:

Qingdao is famed as the base of the Tsingtao Brewery (Tsingtao is the Postal Romanised name for Qingdao which lasted until the 1990s). A German colony in the late 19th Century, the city still retains many German-style buildings and influence. Alas, its new urban rail development is not known as a U-Bahn, but the Qingdao Metro.

Although there is much construction work for the expansion of the network, the Qingdao Metro currently consists of only half a line! M3 opened prior to Christmas 2015 as a partly operating line, serving the north of the city from the huge North Railway Station (itself not fully operational) to Shuangshan, a busy suburb to the north of the city centre. The 12km line is fully underground, with third-rail power. It operates from 0630-2130 and has a base headway of 9mins (never known a 9min headway before). As the line currently doesn’t really serve any trip generating points it is unsurprising that patronage rates are very low, and the current service level is more than adequate.

The stations have smart glass entrances with a pole-like totem providing opening and closing hours. The entrances have escalators and steps and lead to gleaming ticket halls. These are of typical Chinese design, although in the afternoon when I visited, there were more staff and security than passengers. Tickets are in the form of a card which is scanned on entry and slotted on exit. Fares are distance-based and currently range from 2 to 4 Yuan, although I assume this fare structure will expand as the system grows. The platforms are all island type with the exception of the North Station which has side platforms (separated by a central wall between the tracks). This station is huge, lying underneath the rail station with 4 entrances converging in a huge underground piazza with numerous entrance and exit points. The last time I witnessed this was in Tianjin a few years ago and now the station is very busy so I assume this trend will also occur in Qingdao.

The platforms have platform screens with line map, smart station names in huge calligraphic style (clearly this is a trend on new Chinese metros), a geographic line map which shows the full extent of Line 3 (not just that that is operating) and TV screens which provide next-train information. In general the stations have white tiling and are very bright and clean (and bereft of passengers). Unsurprisingly, the stock is CSR (a Qingdao company) and is formed of 6-car sets. The interior is white with light-blue side seating. There are two things that stuck out for me. As for the interior there is no information or maps or advertising – looks very stark. Conversely, the exterior has quite a bold livery with a broad dark turquoise band encasing the windows with a narrow orange band below. The logo is located on the side of the drivers cabin. All signage, audio and electronic information is in Mandarin and English. The ride is fine, although the dwell times at stations are very lengthy, the endless pause in the journey all the more conspicuous because of the lack of passenger movements.

There is limited hard-copy information available and with regard to mappage I am sure as the system expands a schematic will emerge. And I suppose, that sums it up really - the one big problem with the line is it doesn’t connect to anywhere and is of little use at the moment. I have simply visited Qingdao too early. There is little to show of the planned mega-network at the moment and as such, it is rather disappointing. Moreover, unlike some of the newer lines in China, the current offering had fully adopted the formulaic model used in recent years – nothing unique here I’m afraid. I say this with the caveat that this is an unfair judgment of a nascent system and within 5 years it will be a worthy stop-off for itinerant metrophiles.



2009 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)