Line 8 was formerly known as the Olympic Branch Line and opened on July 19, 2008 just in time to serve the 2008 Olympic Games. Then, it had only four stations and 4.53 km of track and each of the four had a unique interior decor style, based on the "Four Seasons", using red, black, yellow, blue, and green as the main tones.
According to a contemporary article in Beijing Times, Beitucheng would use red and black as its main colours, representing the passion of summer; the Olympic Sports Center would use yellow, which represents brilliance, and corresponds to autumn; the blue of Olympic Park Station represents broadness and winter; while the Forest Park Station naturally caters to the green spring and represents hope. In addition, the wall of the station will use the gray walls of Beijing residential buildings as the basic elements of the space to set off the cultural context of Beijing.
Line 8 ran as an adjunct to Line 10, which even showed the extension on its carriage maps.
Access was originally restricted to riders with an Olympic Register Card or a ticket to an event at the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games on the day of the event; but in early October 2008, the line was fully opened to the public.
After the opening of the first sections of Phase II, Line 8 came into its own and new dedicated trains were manufactured by CSR Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. Ltd.
Line 8 was extended by six stations to the north in 2011, by two stations to the south in 2012, and by three more stations to the north and two more to the south on December 28, 2013.
The line currently has 31 stations in operation stretched over two discontinous sections, of 28.5 km from Zhuxinzhuang in Changping District to National Art Museum in Dongcheng District, and Zhushikou to Yinghai - a length of 16.4 km, with 12 stations. The section between National Art Museum and Zhushikou, which includes three stations (Jinyu Hutong, Wangfujing and Qianmen) will be opened in 2021.
A common design element at many of the Line 8 stations is the overhead lighting that varies in colour from station to station...
At the southern end of Line 8, a theme of "underground central axis", is used, reflecting the fact that Line 8 follows Beijing's central axis closely. There are many city gates on the central axis, and for this reason, the subway's central axis has also selected doors as one of its main architectural elements.
Artwork can be found at:
Olympic Sport Center
South gate of Forest Park