Beijing's Subway (Metro) Art

Line 10



Line 10 is the world’s longest subway loop lines and one of the longest entirely-underground subway lines (57.1 km in length), requiring 104 minutes to complete one loop. It started formal operations on July 19th 2008 in time for the Beijing Olympics, with 22 stations.

The loop was fully enclosed on May 5, 2013 and Line 10 now consists of ‘full-loop’ trains that make the journey through all 45 stations, and ‘partial-loop’ trains that run from Chedaogou in the northwest to Songjiazhuang in the southeast before turning back.

Line 10 has to have the worst thought-out maps on the entire network. For a start, depending on whether you are going clockwise or anti-clockwise, the maps above the platform doors are different, meaning that you have to get used to two different layouts – mirrored not just vertically, but horizontally as well – which makes finding your station on the schematics difficult, to say the least.

For example, Bagou is in the north west of Beijing. All well and good if you look at the clockwise map, or the in-train map; but the anticlockwise map shows it in the bottom right hand corner, the vertical clockwise map has it in the top right corner and the anticlockwise vertical map shows it in the bottom left corner. What do they think they are playing at?

And of course, how could one forget the spelling mistake of ‘Airpot Express’, which necessitated correction stickers to be applied to all the maps on the entire line (over 1,500 by my reckoning).

It surely can’t be much fun working in the graphics department of Line 10!

That said, Line 10 has to have some of the very best artwork to be found on the entire Beijing Subway network!