Kunming, in China’s southwest, has embarked on an ambitious and massive rail infrastructure project, the Urban Rail Transit system.
For in depth analysis of Cambodian Business, visit Capital Cambodia
With its economy and society evolving at breakneck velocity, Kunming proper has quickly integrated surrounding areas, making the expansion of its public transportation system a necessity.
The URT was proposed in 2011, aiming to support the rapid rate of urbanisation and economic development of the “spring city”, according to Li Zhing, project manager of the 12th Civil Engineering Section of Kunming’s Rail Transit Line 4.
The first phase of the URT comprises six lines – three major and three auxiliary ones – covering 162.6 kilometres in a radial network formation, he explained.
Mr Li said the construction of lines 4 and 5 are being touted as models of successful public-private partnerships, which the city’s Treasury is keen to publicise.
“The PPP model has been introduced into Kunming’s transport sector, which basically means making full use of our social capital to launch the construction of the planned URT network.
“The new model of cooperation, together with the length of the line and its numerous stations, all presented many challenges and opportunities for Kunming and its private partner, China Railway Group,” Mr Li said.
One of the longest lines in the whole metro system, construction of Line 4 started two years ago and is slated for completion by 2020.
Mr Li pointed out that Line 4 will boast the highest ridership and the largest number of transfer stations in the whole system.
It is an auxiliary line connecting urban Kunming with northwest and southeast areas of Chenggong district, passing through the National High Tech Industrial Development Zone as well as the Administrative Education Center and various other commercial and residential zones.
By the time it is finished, the line will boast 29 stations, including 14 transfer stations connecting to lines 1,2,3,5 and 6. So far, 17 stations and 13 single-track sections have been completed.