The Chinese capital of Beijing will buy 84 new subway trains and update 60 old ones in a subway line by May 2008, according to a purchase contract signed on Monday.
The purchase of the new subway trains is part of the improvement project of the Beijing No.1 and No.2 subway lines, said Xie Zhengguang, general manager of the Beijing Subway Operation Co., Ltd.
The new trains have special designs such as blind tracks for the handicapped, which is also a preparation for the Paralympics Games in 2008, he said.
The 144 new trains cost 818 million yuan (some 100 million U.S.dollars), and will all be put into operation prior to May 2008.
After the improvement, the time gap between two close running trains in No. 2 Subway line will be shortened to two minutes, according to Xie.
Four subway lines are now in operation in Beijing, with a total length of 114 kilometers and a daily passenger flow of 1.6 million.
By 2008, four other lines will also be running in the capital, bringing the total length of subway lines to 200 kilometers.