China’s National Development and Reform Commission has announced that work will begin on a metro network in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province in eastern China.
The $7bn first phase of the development will involve the construction of three lines with a total length of 81km.
The first will run for 26km through the west of the city. It will cost $2bn and contain nine stations. The 35km, $3bn second line will run from east to the west, with 14 stations and interchanges. The third will contain 11 stations and link the north and south of Jinan; it is valued at $2bn.
The trains will have the unusually high maximum speed of 120kph owing to the long distances between the stops.
Jinan has a population of a little less than 7 million people, 4.3 million of whom live in the metropolitan area. When future phases are completed, they will be served by a 331km system with 155 stations.
Construction on phase one is due to start this year and will be complete by 2019.
China is to stimulate domestic demand by fast-tracking work on $1 trillion of construction and infrastructure projects as the republic fights to keep its GDP growth rate above 7%.
It has recently announced plans to build an $11bn international airport in Chengdu.