The powers that be, Sunday 11th March, issued regulatory approval that give the go ahead for Nanjing Metro Line 6. However, it is a decision that shall continue to spark controversy, particularly among enthusiastic proponents for the protection of Nanjing’s ancient relics.
The line, that runs in a mainly northeast-southwest direction, takes it past Minggu Gong, or the Ming Palace, in turn also known as the Forbidden City, on account of the fact that it served as the blueprint for its Northern namesake in Beijing.
There are strict guidelines in place that limit the potential proximity of metro lines to ancient relics that may damage the city’s cultural heritage, on account of vibrations generated by the line’s construction and the running of the trains themselves.
As a result, Metro regulations state that there must be at least two tunnel diameters (12.4 m) between a metro tunnel and any cultural relic.
In order to obtain approval, Metro authorities have therefore had to commit to tunnelling deeper than ever before, to avoid disturbing any relics that lie beneath Minggu Gong.
Previously, this publication reported last July on the presently under-construction Line 5 that was embroiled in the same controversy; its path in this case passing close to the Chaotian Palace at the Southern end of Wangfu Da Jie.
The pink colour-coded Line 6 shall also mark the completion of our city’s metro system at Nanjing South Railway Station, where five lines shall converge. Four are in operation at the moment.
As a bonus, Nanjing-based regional paper the Yangtze Evening Post has reported that Line 6 will also bring extra convenience to those making their way to Nanjing Lukou International Airport, as it will share the south terminal presently occupied by airport Line S1. In fact, at this point the two lines will effectively be merged together. Passengers will have no need to disembark to make the transfer, as Line 6 will miraculously become Line S1, and vice versa, during the stop at Nanjing South Railway Station.
Line 6 shall consist of 32.5km of track and 19 stations, all of which shall be underground. Of these, seven shall be intersections with other lines, but at present only Ganzi Cun (Line 4), Minggu Gong (Line 2) and Nanjing South Railway Station (lines 1, 3, S1 and S3) are presently in existence.
It all means that the sooner the controversy over Line 6 and the Forbidden City can be settled, the sooner the tunnels, track and 16 stations can be completed. With a self-imposed deadline of 2022 for an opening, the construction company had better break out its deepest drill bits yet.
The full list of stations for Nanjing Metro Line 6, from north to south is as follows.
Qixia Shan, Liujiaku, Xinshenwei, Xingzhi Lu, Xingang Development Zone, Yanyao Lu, Wanshou Cun, Yingyuan Nan Lu, Danxia Lu, Changtu Dong, Gangzi Cun, Fugui Shan, Minggu Gong, Guanghua Men, Daxiaochang Lu, City Centre Hospital, Honghua Airport, Jiagang and Nanjing South Railway Station.