Beijing is the first city in China having underground railway transportation system. The first Subway line had been officially opened for military use on October 1, 1969. In the late 1950s, the Sino-Soviet relations had greatly deteriorated, so the Chinese authority began to build underground spaces in Beijing, Shenyang and Shanghai in preparing for future wars.

The first phrase underground railway project was begun in mid-1965. The 23.6-kilometer line was from Changan Street in the west to Beijing Railway Station in the east. It had 17 stations then. This great strategic work was allowed for civilian use in parts in later times. The date of opening of the whole line for passengers' use was September 15, 1981.

Up till 2007, Beijing Subway has Line Nos. 1, 2, 5, 13 and Batong (八通), which totally have length of 142 kilometers and 93 stations. In summer 2008, just before the opening of the Beijing Olympics, first phrase of Line 10, Olympic Line (Line No. 8) and Airport Express line have been available for service.
Beijing Subway
Beijing Subway is the cheapest underground railway traffic system in China. Regardless how long the distance and how many times you transfer, a single journey in the subway just cost two RMB, except the Airport Express which requires 25 RMB. Automatic Fare Collection system (AFC) is now being used instead of man collection in the past. The tickets are magnetic smart cards. You can also use Beijing Municipal Traffic Card, which can pay fares for Beijing buses and Subway Lines, but no any discount for the latter. Children heights less than 1.2 meters are free of charge.

The trains are made by Changchun Railway Train Holdings Co., Ltd. The Multiple Unit Trains are being powered by the third track. Each train has four to six carriages, length 19.5 meters and width 2.6 meters. The fastest running speed designed is 80 kilometers per hour and average travel speed during service is about 60 kilometers per hour.

The train waiting platforms are usually safe and clean, but there are some train station's entrances are without escaladers, they might be good for exercise lovers.

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