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Bloomberg News

Shanghai Closes Subway Stations, Slows Trains After Crash

September 28, 2011

(Updates with analyst’s comment in fifth paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Shanghai, China’s financial capital, shuttered a subway line for 13 stations and slowed metro trains after two locomotives collided yesterday, injuring 271 people.

Line 10 was closed from Hailun Road to Yili Road, according to station announcements, which didn’t say when services would resume. At Yuyuan Garden station, in central Shanghai, and the stop closest to the crash site, security guards were directing people to special buses run by the city government.

“I’m scared of taking the subway for the time being,” Li Fei, a 36-year-old bank worker, said as she waited at a nearby bus stop. “I’d rather take the bus because it’s safer.”

Rail stocks also fell in Hong Kong on concern the accident may damp spending on subways following a slowdown in mainline investments prompted by a fatal high-speed crash in July. The Shanghai accident happened when a train careered into the back of another one while controllers were running operations using a manual system following an equipment failure.

“This is an alarm bell for the subway system after years of rapid growth,” said Jack Xu, an analyst at Sinopac Securities Asia Ltd. in Shanghai. “Investment in the sector may slow in the near term.”

Shanghai Construction

The subway and maglev-train network in Shanghai expanded more than sevenfold in eight years to 453 kilometers (281 miles) to keep pace with a growing population and demand during last year’s World Expo. Line 10 opened last year.

The equipment that had the fault was made by Casco Signal Ltd., Shanghai Shentong Metro Co. Chairman Yu Guangyao said at a press conference yesterday. The city is limiting train speeds to 45 kilometers an hour (28 miles per hour) and beginning an investigation, he said.

Casco, a venture of China Railway Signal & Communication Corp. and Alstom SA, also made the centralized traffic control system for the railway line involved in the July high-speed crash, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. A person who answered the phone at Casco’s Shanghai headquarters said the company wouldn’t take any media interviews. She declined to give her name. When a Bloomberg reporter visited the office, no one answered the door. Calls to Alstom’s media-relations office in Beijing and to China Railway Signal’s headquarters in the city also went unanswered.

CSR, China Railway

CSR Corp., which has made subway trains for lines in Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou, fell as much as 9.6 percent in Hong Kong trading. It was down 6.5 percent at HK$3.03 as of 11:40 a.m. Railway-builder China Railway Group Ltd. tumbled as much as 6.6 percent. Shanghai Metro dropped 1.3 percent to 8.64 yuan in Shanghai.

More than 500 people were evacuated from the two metro trains yesterday, with 62 ambulances sent to the scene, Shanghai Metro said. Of the injured, 180 are out of hospital, 30 are under observation and 61 were admitted, none with life- threatening injuries, Xu Jianguang, director-general of the Shanghai Health Bureau, said at a press conference yesterday.

A train on the No. 10 line ran in the wrong direction on July 28 because of a signaling fault during an upgrade, according to a statement on Shanghai Metro’s website. No one was injured.

Shanghai Network

Shanghai had 11 metro lines and one magnetic-levitation track at the end of last year, which together handled an average of 5.16 million passengers a day, according to a government booklet. Two more metro lines are due to open by 2012, stretching the network to 500 kilometers and likely boosting the average number of passengers to more than 8 million a day, the booklet said.

By comparison, London Underground is 402 kilometers long and carries about 3 million passengers daily, based on data on Transport for London’s website.

China slashed nationwide spending on railway construction by 50 percent last month to 33 billion yuan ($5.2 billion) as it slowed work after the high-speed crash near Wenzhou city that killed 40 people. The government also halted approval for new lines and fired at least three officials.

The nation’s mainline rail network is set to reach 120,000 kilometers under a 2.8 trillion yuan, five-year investment plan running through 2015. That includes boosting the high-speed network, which opened in 2007, to 16,000 kilometers.

--Michael Wei, Jasmine Wang, Huiwen Yang with assistance from Stephanie Wong, Jin Jing, Liza Lin, Jianguo Jiang and Belinda Cao in Shanghai. Editors: Neil Denslow, Garry Smith

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Michael Wei in Shanghai at; Jasmine Wang in Hong Kong at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at

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