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Signal unit puts Line 7 to test

TRAINS on Line 7, the city's next Metro stretch to be opened in phases, may experience similar short breakdowns that occurred recently on Line 8.

The Metro management company issued the warning yesterday, saying signal testing may again cause minor problems.

However, it said technicians had been studying the series of operational problems on Line 8 and would try their best to curb the possibility of similar incidents on Line 7 when it opened later this year.

During the two weeks before Line 8 opened its second phase for traffic on Sunday, its first phase experienced seven breakdowns, mainly connected to the automatic signal system, which required drivers to take control of trains manually.

This situation was unavoidable and transitional as engineers had to shift the signal system to a new stage in preparation for the integrated operation of both phases, the Metro management company said.

The 35-kilometer Line 7 now under construction will run past downtown districts and the Huangpu River to connect northern Baoshan District and Pudong New Area. It will also stop at the 2010 World Expo site on Pudong side.

The company said Line 7's first phase would be ready for commuters before the end of this year, while its second phase would begin service before World Expo next year.

The first phase will operate between Qihua Road Station in Baoshan District and its terminal at Huamu Road Station in Pudong New Area. The second phase will start from Qihua Road and extend to the planned Meilan Lake Station in the north.

The Metro management firm said yesterday that 20 new trains had arrived in the city and operations testing had already started on six of them.

By yesterday, 65 of Line 7's 97 stations had completed construction.

Workers on Line 8 told Shanghai Daily yesterday that passenger flow on the second phase, running through several new residential towns in Pudong, remained flat in rush hours.

"So far, the rush-hour passenger pressure is still focused on the older phase of Line 8," said a Metro worker surnamed Zhu.

Line 8 management said the second phase was operating smoothly.


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