In 2002, in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it was proposed that the first section of Line 9 should be built between Baishiqiao and Beijing West Railway Station. The entire length of the proposed line was 5.8 kms. However the line only started construction in April 2007 making an opening before the Olympics impossible.
On December 31, 2011, the 11.1 km, 9 station southern section from Guogongzhuang to Beijing West Railway Station opened. At the time it was only connected to the Fangshan Line, meaning demand for its service was very limited.
A year later, the original northern section from Beijing West Railway Station to the National Library entered into operation; but it wasn’t until yet another year had passed that the transfer for Lines 1 to 9 was completed at the Military Museum Station. This finally connected Line 9 and the Fangshan Line to the rest of the subway network and made all major Beijing train stations accessible by subway.
Line 9 was originally proposed to be extended further north and west to Haidian Shanhou, but the proposal was abandoned in favour of the construction of Line 16.
Line 9 is now currently planned to be extended to the north, ending at Xi’erqi Station where it will interchange with Line 13 and the Changping Line.
Line 9 has little to commend it in the way of art. At some stations a simple design of coloured squares on a light blue background adorns the walls of the lift shafts, to help make them stand out.
Apart from that there are just six stations that display any kind of artwork at all...