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Tram and metro growth in Wuhan

Wuhan's fleet of CRRC Zhuzhou-built trams recharge via pantograph at stops, allowing 3-4km of wire-free running.

Passenger operations on the first tramline in the Chinese city of Wuhan began on
28 July. The 16.9km (10.5-mile) T1 route serves the south-west of the city with 23 stops between Deshenggang and Chelun Square, near the southern terminus of metro line 3.

Services run between 07.00 and 19.00 at ten-minute headways using a fleet of 21 four-section trams from CRRC Zhuzhou. The 100% low-floor vehicles are 36m long with capacity for 400 passengers – end-to-end journeys take 40 minutes. The trams are equipped with Siemens traction equipment and use supercapacitor energy storage to enable 3-4km (1.9-2.5 miles) of catenary-free operation with recharging at stops via pantograph.

In the same city, Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric has rolled out the first trainset for the 35km (21.7-mile) metro line 21. The 100km/h (62mph)-capable vehicle is equipped for GoA2 automatic operation and features LED lighting that the manufacturer says can provide up to 30% energy savings.

It is reported that tunnelling was completed on the second 15.3km (9.5-mile) phase of line 6 on 28 July, despite nearly 1000 workers battling to plug leaks and pump floodwater out of the new line on 16 July. Water poured into the tunnel after days of torrential rain raised water levels; the tunnel is just 300m from the Han River, the Yangtze’s biggest tributary. No casualties were reported.

Line 6 has five underground and four elevated stations and is scheduled to open in December, although a surveyor was quoted in local media as saying the flooding might delay the start of passenger service. Stops along lines 2 and 4 were also forced to close as floodwaters rose.

Tunnelling has also been completed on the first phase of line 16 in a concurrent project.