It’s time for another leg of my journey into ‘Mainland’ China – a tour of the Shanghai Metro. The first line opened in 1993, and is now the largest metro network by route length, as well as one of the busiest in the world.
Things you expect to see
It’s much like any other metro system around the world – buy a ticket from the machine on the way in.
Or from the customer service counter.
Head through the turnstiles.
Down the escalator.
And wait for the next train to arrive.
Where you will find big crowds.
Carriages with doors aplenty.
And longitudinal seating.
With plenty of handholds.
As well as the expected stations with platform screen doors, a few of the older underground stations on Line 2 are only equipped with half-height platform gates.
And stairs, not escalators.
But even stranger were the platforms equipped with glass platform gates that just sat there doing nothing.
Despite all of the automation, the platform door control and rear view monitors also looked rather clunky.
Platform staff waving a green ‘all clear’ flag to train drivers.
I also found something I didn’t expect to see – a 11 kilometre long section of at-grade and elevated track, shared between the Lines 3 and 4.
Trains being painted in line-specific liveries.
Stations having side platform, and open to the tracks.
Elevated viaducts passing neighbouring buildings.
And illuminated at night by floodlights.
A trip to the end of the line
I also took a ride to the Pudong Airport end of line 2.
Which operates as an independent shuttle service.
After emerging from underground, a viaduct runs about the surrounding suburbs.
Passing the depot for the line.
We passed freeways.
And massive elevated roads.
And eventually met the Shanghai Maglev Train.
Before we arrived at Pudong Airport.
Onboard trains LED displays indicated which was the train was headed.
And what the next stations were.
The design of some was a little clunky.
Especially this matrix display designed for future upgrades.
I also found these screens down at platform level, but couldn’t make sense of what any the information meant.
But these diagrams were far easier for me to understand.
Signage directing passengers to numbered exits.
And directing interchange passengers to their desired line.
And some real oddities
At every station entrance you’ll find an X-ray machine, watched by bored security staff.
But the weirdest exit from the metro I found was this one at People’s Square station – leading directly into a bridal shop!
And finally this wall reminded me of the MTR back in Hong Kong.