Exploring the Shanghai Metro

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.

Shanghai Metro train on line 3 arrives at Baoshan Road station

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.

Ticket machines on the Shanghai Metro at Longyang Road station

Or from the customer service counter.

Customer service counter at Century Park station on the Shanghai Metro

Head through the turnstiles.

Exit turnstiles at Century Park station

Down the escalator.

Escalators between platform and concourse level at People's Square station

And wait for the next train to arrive.

Train arrives into the platform at Longyang Road station

Where you will find big crowds.

Passengers heads up the escalators at People's Square station

Carriages with doors aplenty.

Half-height automatic platform gates for line 2 at People's Square station

And longitudinal seating.

Riding Shanghai Metro line 2 to the airport

With plenty of handholds.

Shanghai Metro branded hanging straps inside a train

The unexpected

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.

Line 2 platform at People's Square station

And stairs, not escalators.

Stairs to concourse level at Longyang Road station

But even stranger were the platforms equipped with glass platform gates that just sat there doing nothing.

Platform gates installed at Century Park station, but not in use

Despite all of the automation, the platform door control and rear view monitors also looked rather clunky.

Platform door control and rear view monitor for train drivers at Lujiazui station

Platform staff waving a green ‘all clear’ flag to train drivers.

Shanghai Metro platform staff waving the 'all clear' flag to the driver

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.

Shanghai Metro train on line 4 departs Shanghai Railway Station

Trains being painted in line-specific liveries.

Shanghai Metro train on line 3 departs Shanghai Railway Station

Stations having side platform, and open to the tracks.

Shanghai Metro train on line 4 arrives at Baoshan Road station

Elevated viaducts passing neighbouring buildings.

Shanghai Metro train on line 3 arrives at Baoshan Road station

And illuminated at night by floodlights.

Shanghai Metro train on line 4 arrives at Zhongtan Road station

A trip to the end of the line

I also took a ride to the Pudong Airport end of line 2.

Reversing siding at the Shanghai end of Haitiansan Road Station

Which operates as an independent shuttle service.

Notice of the Line 2 shuttle to Pudong Airport awaiting departure from Guanglan Road Station

After emerging from underground, a viaduct runs about the surrounding suburbs.

Small apartment blocks near Yuandong Avenue Station in Pudong

Passing the depot for the line.

Chuansha Depot for trains on Shanghai Metro line 2

We passed freeways.

Looking down on the G1501 Shanghai Ring Expressway from Shanghai Metro line 2

And massive elevated roads.

Huaxia Elevated Road viewed from the Shanghai Metro line 2

Overlooking farmland.

Mix of farming and apartments north of Shanghai Pudong Airport

And eventually met the Shanghai Maglev Train.

Standing at Haitiansan Road Station, as a maglev train speeds past at 300 km/h

Before we arrived at Pudong Airport.

Entrance to the Shanghai Metro station on Line 2 at Shanghai Pudong Airport

Passenger information

Onboard trains LED displays indicated which was the train was headed.

'Train moves in this direction' on the illuminated onboard network map

And what the next stations were.

Illuminated network map on a Shanghai Metro train on line 10

The design of some was a little clunky.

Illuminated network map onboard a Shanghai Metro ine 2 train

Especially this matrix display designed for future upgrades.

LED matrix board above the train doors to display the line map

I also found these screens down at platform level, but couldn’t make sense of what any the information meant.

Information board on the Shanghai Metro - everything is in Chinese

But these diagrams were far easier for me to understand.

Platform level at Century Park station on line 2

Signage directing passengers to numbered exits.

Exit list at Century Park station - I saw staying at the Dorsett Shanghai hotel

And directing interchange passengers to their desired line.

Interchange directions between lines 4 and 10 at Hailun Road station

And some real oddities

At every station entrance you’ll find an X-ray machine, watched by bored security staff.

X-ray machines at the entry to a Shanghai Metro station

But the weirdest exit from the metro I found was this one at People’s Square station – leading directly into a bridal shop!

Exit to a bridal store at People's Square station on the Shanghai Metro

And finally this wall reminded me of the MTR back in Hong Kong.

Station nameboard on the platform wall at Guanglan Road

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4 Responses to Exploring the Shanghai Metro

  1. Ryan Lam (LP) says:

    Screens at platform level consist of
    Left: advertisements
    Top right: Next train in (mins):(secs)
    Below is first train and last train, both are shown in (hr):(mins)
    Bottom right: A section of line route in which direction (indicated by white arrows)
    Interchange stations have names in Simplified Chinese and, on the side
    of the names, interchangeable lines.

    I suppose their screens are too small to fit the whole thing XD.

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