Shanghai Metro

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The Shanghai Metro is the subway of the city Shanghai . When the line was opened on December 30, 2017, the network reached a length of 637 km. This makes it longer than the Beijing Subway . In 2012, 2.276 billion passengers were carried, only 0.184 billion fewer than the Beijing Metro .

Line 1 was opened in 1993, line 2 six years later. Both were built by a consortium of Siemens and Adtranz . Line 3 was built by Alstom .

The currently largest transfer station is the Renmin Guangchang (People's Square) station. Lines 1, 2 and 8 are connected to each other here. Before the beginning of the Expo 2010 , the metro network was expanded, several large transfer stations were built, at which not only different metro lines stop, but also the metro network is interlinked with the city's bus routes.

All stops on a line are marked with the corresponding color of the line. All the stations on the metro are relatively simple and there is no spectacular architecture. The Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (SMEDI) was responsible for the design of most of the stations.

The map of the Shanghai Metro in December 2017


The underground runs daily between 5 a.m. and midnight, with the last trains departing between 10.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. depending on the journey time. One-way trips cost between 3 and 10 yuan , depending on the distance traveled.

Touchscreen machine to buy single tickets for the Shanghai Metro

It is possible to purchase single tickets from multi-lingual touchscreen machines. The use of smart cards , the so-called Jiaotong Card , is possible. A deposit of 20 yuan has to be paid, the card can be topped up with a balance of up to 999 yuan and can also be used to pay in taxis or partly at McDonald's.

As in some other large cities, single tickets are also required at the end of the journey to leave the metro stations that are underground or on an elevated railway section. Non-Chinese-speaking passengers who try to leave stations without a ticket can have protracted problems with police officers and security personnel outside the core city and the large transfer stations.

Entrance to a stop

The lines

line colour route opening Length (km) Stations
line 1 red Fujin Road Xinzhuang 1993 36.4 28
Line 2 green East Xujing Pudong Airport 1999 63.8 30th
Line 3 yellow North Jiangyang Road Shanghai South Railway Station 2000 40.3 29
Line 4 Dark purple Ring line 2005 33.7 26th
Line 5 purple Xinzhuang Minhang Development Zone 2003 17.2 11
Line 6 magenta Gangcheng Road Oriental sports stadium 2007 32.3 28
Line 7 orange Meilansee Huamu Road 2009 44.2 33
Line 8 blue Shiguang Road Aerospace Museum 2007 37.4 30th
Line 9 Light Blue Songjiang South Railway Station Middle Yanggao Road 2007 77.6 35
Line 10 purple Xinjiangwancheng Hongqiao Railway Station / Hangzhong Road 2010 35.4 31
Line 11 brown North Jiading / Huaqiao Jiangsu Road 2009 82.4 31
Line 12 Dark green Tiantong Road Jinhai Road 2013 40.4 32
Line 13 pink Jinyun Road Jinshajiang Road 2012 22.0 19th
Line 16 turquoise Luoshan Road Dishui Lake 2013 51.9 13
Line 17 Bright red Hongqiao Railway Station Oriental land 2017 35.5 7th
Line 22 Gray Shanghai Nanzhan (Shanghai South Station) Jinshan 2012 56.4 8th

line 1

Heng Shan Road stop

Line 1 runs from Fujin Road in the northern Baoshan district via Shanghai's Shanghai Zhan main train station to the south to the suburbs of the city. The end of the line is Xinzhuang in the Minhang district, where there is a change to line 5. The total length is currently 36.39 km. On December 28, 2004, the first extension of Line 1 from the main train station to Gongfu Xin Cun was put into operation. This added 12.4 km of new line and nine new stations to the subway network. Most of this extension is designed as an elevated railway. In December 2007, another 4 km extension with three new stations was inaugurated. Fujin Road has been the end of the line ever since.

Eight-car trains have been increasingly used on lines 1 and 2 since 2007. This is done by purchasing new Alstom trains (2007/2008) and converting the trains of the first series.

Line 2

The line, opened on October 28, 1999, now runs 60 km from East Xujing in the west of the city to Shanghai-Pudong Airport in the east. At the Longyang Road stop there is a transfer to the Transrapid , which also goes to Pudong Airport. Line 2 has been connecting the city's two airports since March 2010.

Line 3

This line was created from parts of an existing ring railway line. It is mainly guided on viaducts and runs from north Jiangyang Road in the north of the city to the south station of Shanghai. In total, it is 40.3 km long and consists of 29 stops. The first test operation was started in December 2000, the commercial operation in August 2001. Until the complete delivery of the Alstom trains, train sets from lines 1 and 2 were used to ensure restricted operation.

Line 4

Line 4 train, also known as the "Circle Line"

Line 4 with a length of 33.7 km is a ring line that shares parts of its tracks with line 3. It crosses most of Shanghai's other metro lines. The southern section from Damuqiao Road to Lancun Road has been in operation since December 29, 2007. The line is currently operated every 5½ to 13 minutes. The clockwise trains are referred to as the "Inner Circle", those in the opposite direction as the "Outer Circle".

Line 5

Line 5 is an extension of Line 1 from Xinzhuang to Minhang Development Zone . In total, it is 17.2 km long and consists of eleven stops. Extensions to the southern districts as far as “Nanhui” are currently being planned.

Line 6

Gangcheng Road

Length: 32.3 km; from Gangcheng Road to Oriental Sports Stadium. Compared to lines 1 and 2, the trains on line 6 have a lower clearance profile and are therefore narrower. This also made it possible to reduce the tunnel profile and thus lower construction costs.

Line 7

Length: 44.2 km; from Meilansee to Huamu Road.

Interior view: train on line 7

Line 8

Line 8 in People's Square

Length: 37.4 km; from Shiguang Road to Aerospace Museum. The trains on line 8 are identical to those on line 6.

Line 9

Length: 45.2 km; from Songjiang South Railway Station in Songjiang District to Middle Yanggao Road in Pudong District . The line started in Songjiang Xincheng by the end of 2012.

Line 9

Line 10

Length: 35.4 km; from Xinjiangwancheng in Yangpu District to Hongqiao Station in Changning District and Hangzhong Road in Minhang District .

Line 11

Total length over 72 km (with one line A and one line B); Line A ("Main Line") runs from Jiading New City, North Jiading Station , in the Jiading district to Luoshan Road in the south-east of the city, and Line B ("Branch Line") runs from Huaqiao Station via Anting ("Autostadt “) To the Shanghai International Circuit .

Line 12

The length is 19 km. The line runs from Tiantong Road (Zhabei) to Jinhai Road and was opened on December 29, 2013.

Line 13

The length is 8.3 km. The line runs from Jinyun Road to Jinshajiang Road (opened in late 2012).

Line 16

The length is 51.9 km. The line runs from Luoshan Road (Pudong) to Dishui Lake ( Chinese  滴水 湖 , Pinyin Dīshuǐ Hú ) in the model city Nanhui Xinchengzhen ( Chinese  南汇 新 城镇 , English Nanhui New City ) in the south and was opened on December 29, 2013. Because of the great length of the route, there are different from the other lines of the system an express service, (for the passing places English passing loops ) are provided for passing the normal trains. This service was postponed to March 21, 2016 due to the lack of train units on January 30, 2014.

Line 17

Line 17 opened on December 30, 2017. It runs west from Shanghai Hongqiao Station to Oriental Land. It is 35.3 km, 18.3 km on bridges and 16.1 km underground. There are six stops in the above-ground part of the route and seven in the underground.

This line operates daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Later, the operating time should go from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

28 six-part trains from the manufacturer CRRC Chungchun are used. At the eastern end point there is a change to lines 2 and 10.

Line 22

The length is 56.4 km. The line runs from Shanghai Nanzhan (Shanghai South Station) to Jinshan .


Development of the underground network (1995-2018)

As early as 1958, the first soil investigations were carried out in Shanghai in order to examine a possible express train construction. The soft ground proved to be a challenge and test tunnels were first created in different parts of the city. Probably for economic and political reasons ( great leap forward , the cultural revolution ) it did not come to fruition for a long time. It was not until 1989 that an agreement was signed with a German consortium led by Siemens to build a rapid transit line. The then Bavarian Prime Minister Stoiber only convinced the Mayor of Shanghai, an avowed football fan, to give preference to Siemens by arranging a guest appearance for FC Bayern Munich in Shanghai. In 1990 construction began on Line 1 from the Xinlonghua station (which has since been replaced by the Südbahnhof station) and the main train station. In 1993, test operations began on the first section. Two years later, in 1995, the line from Jinjiang Park to the main train station went into operation.


According to official Chinese information, there was only one suicide who managed to throw himself in front of a train. All other incidents in which passengers were run over were classified as accidents as a result of jostling at crowded platforms. At 6:16 pm local time on July 5, 2010, a female passenger paid for her life for attempting to jostle through a closing door on a Line 2 train at Zhongshan Park Station. Her wrist was trapped in the door and she was stuck on the outside of the train. Due to an unfortunate coincidence, she did not touch any of the light barriers on the train door and her wrist was narrower than the tolerance of the security system, which prevents the train from approaching if something is jammed in the door. After a security guard who had hurried up was unable to free her, she was thrown against a railing by the approaching train.

Despite modern signaling and safety technology, a more serious accident occurred on September 27, 2011, 2:51 p.m. local time. On line 10, near the world-famous Yu Garden, two trains collided in a vacant section of the tunnel. 260 people were injured, 20 of them seriously. The fact, thanks to which there were no deaths, was also part of the cause of the accident: After the signal and collision warning system had failed 41 minutes earlier, the trains were directed via train radio and at a greatly reduced speed through the affected section of the route. The accident immediately sparked a heated discussion by Chinese standards about the rapid expansion of the transport infrastructure in the 23 million metropolis and across the country, especially since the safety technology of the tunnel concerned was manufactured and installed by the same company that was also used to equip the line two high-speed trains collided a few weeks earlier.

Further expansion

The tenth five-year plan in Shanghai from 2000 initially envisaged the expansion of the high-speed rail network to a total length of 540 km by 2020. These plans are, however, continuously developed - the milestone in rapid transit construction in Shanghai was the World Exhibition Expo 2010 . Ambitious expansion plans were drawn up for this major event. Therefore, 11 lines with a total length of 400 km were already in operation in 2010. In the city center there should be a rapid transit train stop every 900 meters. The expansion of the network to 22 lines is planned by 2020. The entire route network should then be 970 km long and thus probably the longest rapid transit network in the world.

Shanghai subway planning (2009-2020)

Lines under construction

  • Line 12: total length 33.6 km; will run from Qixin Road in Minhang District to Jinsui Road in Pudong, with a western branch to Gudai Road, Zhongchun Road and an eastern branch to Caolu.
  • Line 13: total length 29.8 km; runs from Huajiang Road in Jiading to South Zhangjiang Road in Pudong.
  • Line 14: runs from Jiangqiao to Jinqiao.
  • Line 16: will be extended by two stops at the north end from Luoshan Road to Longyang Road.

Routes in planning

  • Line 15: runs from Qihua Road to Zizhu Park on Outer Ring Road.
  • Line 18: runs from Changbei Road to Hangtou Town.
  • Line 19: runs from Jinhai Road in Pudong to Chongming Island .
  • Line 20: runs from Hongqiao Railway Station to Gongqing Park.
  • Line 21: will run from Wujing to Hongkou Football Stadium.

Line naming

The planning in Shanghai originally envisaged three different categories of rapid transit systems. Initially, “metro lines” were intended as purely inner-city rapid transit systems. Rapid trains were planned as "Regional Express" lines to connect the suburbs with the city center. And finally, the “Light Railway Line” was the name given to high-speed railways that simply connect different parts of the city with one another, without any connection to the city center. However, uniform naming of all metro lines was introduced.

L = Light Railway Line
M = Metro Line
R = Regional Express Line

  • Line 1, former name Metro Line 1, planning name R1
  • Line 2, former name Metro Line 2, planning name R2
  • Line 3, former name Pearl Line, planning name M3
  • Line 4, former name Circle Line, planning name M4
  • Line 5, formerly Xin Min Line, planned as part of the R1 line
  • Line 6, former name Pudong Light Rail, planning name L4
  • Line 7, planning name M7
  • Line 8, former name Yangpu Line, planning name M8
  • Line 9, former name Shengsong Line, planning name R4
  • Line 10, planning name M1
  • Line 11, planning name R3
  • Line 12, planning name M2
  • Line 13, planning name M5
  • Line 14, planning name M6
  • Line 15, planning name L1
  • Line 16, planning name L2
  • Line 17, planning name L3
  • Line 18, planning name L5


The Shanghai metro has some technical features and innovations that deserve a closer look.

Tracks and power supply

As early as the first planning in 1958, the idea of ​​using or taking over suburban train stations and some elevated tracks of the state railway was incorporated. Furthermore, at the beginning of the concrete planning at the end of the 1980s, it was quickly decided to seek cooperation with German companies in terms of construction and rolling stock procurement. Because of this, all lines use standard gauge (1435 mm) with partially covered concrete sleepers in the concrete bed. On some of the above-ground and viaductal lines taken over by the state railway, there are sections with wooden sleepers in the ballast bed, but these are gradually being replaced.

Power is supplied via overhead lines, which is unusual for metro systems . As an exception, line 16 is operated with a side power supply. The trains on line 16 therefore have both a pantograph on the roof and a pantograph on the side. The lines are operated with 1500  V DC voltage , about twice the voltage used by busbar systems. This explains the use of the overhead contact line and allows a maximum speed of 80  km / h . Siemens retrofitted the power supply for Line 2 with a new type of contact busbar, still above the railways, and seven additional substations in various areas of the city's failure-prone city power grid in order to guarantee a failure-free and fluctuation-free power supply. The line is still used with normal pantographs.


Basic equipment

All stations are connected to a centrally controlled loudspeaker system, which is only used for emergency announcements, diversions, other operational disruptions or to excuse train cancellations. The station staff can also connect to the system. Bilingual ticket machines (Mandarin and English) at the station entrances are standard. Probably for reasons of space, there is little seating. Recycle bins are plentiful everywhere. Disposal of garbage on the ground or on the track carries severe fines ranging from several thousand yuan to five days in prison.

Safety equipment

Platform screen doors at People's Square Line 2 Station (2011)

In the core city areas of lines 1, 4 and 6 to 10, heavily frequented stations have platform screen doors on the edges that only open when the train has come to a standstill. This is to prevent someone from falling on the track, even when there is a lot of crowd. Line 2 is currently being upgraded. Waist-high barriers have been in place in People's Square to replace them for some time. There are easily accessible panic levers everywhere that stop train traffic and call security personnel. Underground security personnel or city militia can be found in all stations. In addition, baggage checks using X-ray machines are carried out at every access to the platforms . In addition, all stations are generously equipped with video surveillance technology. There are several independently functioning alarm systems for fire, gas, flood and earthquake, which warn with acoustic signals and automatic loudspeaker announcements. All underground and viaduct stations are video-monitored.

Passenger information

In the aboveground areas, subsequent trains are shown by LED display, in the underground areas by LC screen, with line number, terminus and arrival time in real time, but often only in Mandarin. Ticket machines, notices and timetables are bilingual in Mandarin and English. Loudspeakers are used to inform about protracted faults or failures.


In a few stations there are snack and beverage machines, in the large transfer stations there are also sales booths for souvenirs and snacks / drinks, some of the largest stations have small shops for mobile phone cards and accessories. Cell phone reception is very good in all underground stations, but calls in the tunnels are not possible everywhere.

Tunnel and track technology


The standards of signal and safety technology, including a state-of-the-art anti-collision system, were set by Siemens and usually meet the highest demands.


Due to bad planning, especially in the transitions of the award of route and rolling stock construction from foreign to local companies, the newer lines in the underground and elevated railway areas have greater differences in the clearance profile and the platform spacing than was originally intended. In fact, therefore, two metro networks are inadvertently created in Shanghai, the rolling stock of which is incompatible over large sections of the route. The New York City Subway has similar problems, but the reason here is that the original network was actually built by two different operators. The Berlin U-Bahn also falls into this category.

Rolling stock

  • 60 Bombardier Movia 456 six-car trains - Lines 1 and 5
  • 37 Siemens (GSMG) six-car trains (rearranged since around 2007) - lines 1 and 2
  • 28 Alstom Metropolis six-car trains - Line 3
  • 283 Alstom Metropolis six-car trains - Lines 4, 6, 7 and 8
  • 37 Alstom Metropolis eight-car trains - Lines 1 and 2
  • unknown many reactivations of old suburban trains and trams from Chinese own production
  • unknown many replicas of the Siemens (GSMG) six-car trains (details are kept secret due to lack of licenses)

The Shanghai Metro uses almost exclusively six-car trains, with a few exceptions:

  • Lines 5, 6, 16 and the part of Line 2 between Guanglan Road and Pudong Airport that uses four-car trains
  • Line 1 and the rest of Line 2 use eight-car trains

Due to problems in buying rolling stock in sufficient quantities on the world market quickly enough or producing it yourself, old suburban trains and trams were reactivated, which led to problems and changes and retrofits to the track and safety technology and even the track construction plans.

Web links

Commons : Shanghai Metro  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Yonah Freemark: Shanghai's Metro. The TransportPolitic, accessed December 9, 2010 .
  2. ^ Shanghai Metro. October 23, 2010, accessed June 13, 2013 (Chinese).
  3. a b c d e Shanghai., accessed June 13, 2013 .
  4. a b 12 号 线 、 16 号 线 12 月 29 日 起 载客 试 运营 . Shanghai Metro. Line 12 and Line 16 will be in operation on December 29th (2013) (Chinese)
  5. Explore Shanghai: Dishui Lake . Accessed December 27, 2017. (English)
  6. 上海 地铁 . Shanghai Metro. Retrieved September 13, 2017. Shanghai Metro (Chinese)
  7. 16 号 线 首 末 班车 时刻表 . Shanghai Metro. December 27, 2014. Line 16, first and last journey according to the timetable (Chinese)
  8. from January 5, 2018: Shanghai adds metro Line 17 (English), accessed on January 6, 2017
  9. The patron . In: Der Spiegel . No.  6 , 2013 ( online ).
  10. Yan Weijue: Woman killed in subway accident in Shanghai. China Daily , July 6, 2010, accessed June 13, 2013 .
  11. More than 200 injured in a subway collision. Süddeutsche Zeitung , accessed on September 28, 2011 .
  12. Reuters: More than 260 people injured in a subway accident in Shanghai. September 27, 2011, accessed June 13, 2013 .