Until its opening last Sunday, the exact opening date of the Chengdu Metro Line 2 east extension has been shrouded in mystery. As with the west extension of the same line, the additional six stations provide little to the average Chengdu resident's commuting experience, but for Longquan residents it's a long-awaited connection that transports them from a hilly suburb into the Chengdu city center within 40 minutes.
For reverse commuters — those looking to make a day trip from Chengdu — the only quasi-highlight might be Longquanyi, which is currently a large construction hole and the future site of the commercial heart of the Longquan suburban shopping plaza. Alternatively, it is a transfer point (with a ten-minute walk) to the Longquan Bus Station, where visitors can take a quick bus ride over the mountains to the Longquan Lake.
Of the other five stations, three are elevated above ground, making them good vantage points for the surrounding farmland, which is destined to soon make way for new real estate projects.
With the additional 11km Subway Line 2 stretches now over 42km and a trip from one end to the other takes 73 minutes averaging 35 kmph. The first train leaves from Longquanyi at 6.10 a.m. and the last 10.30 p.m. Maximum fare is currently still clocked at RMB6 for rides of more than 8 stations.
The Line 2 east extension is part of the Metro master plan which, when complete, will include seven new light rail lines over some 363 km, including an airport express line. The expected year of completion is 2020.
Six New Stations
Longping Road 龙平路
Photos by Michal Pachniewski