Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Beijing South Station 

Took the Line 4 subway to Beijing South Station this evening to catch the train to Shanghai. I have been in Beijing for almost seven years, now, and I have never been to Beijing South Station. That's not as impressive as it seems, because Beijing South Station is new. It didn't exist when I first moved to Beijing. But even after it did exist, it was not popular, because it was located so far from the city center. Several years ago, when the Beijing to Tianjin high speed train opened, it was trumpeted as a significant achievement that would almost make Tianjin a part of the Beijing community. But in fact, friends I know from Tianjin told me that they didn't use it, because it ran from the Beijing South Station, and it took longer to get from Beijing proper to the Beijing South Station than to get from Beijing South to Tianjin on the high speed train.

The Line 4 Subway has changed all that. Line four cuts across the old Line Two (which is a circle around Old Beijing) twice, going from up by Fragrant Hills to down past the Beijing South Station. Now it is just a few extra minutes beyond the lower part of the Line 2 circle. As a matter of fact, the new South Station was never that far away, it's just that there was no direct way to get there. But now, I would predict that it will see a lot more use, because it is incorporated seamlessly into the subway system. Get off the Line 4 subway at the Beijing South station, and you're almost ready to board the train. The gate is right up the stairs.

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