On The Metro: Beijing's Line 2

Going underground for the third time, I wanted to look at Beijing Subway's Line 2. Standing as one of Beijing's founding lines, operating within its circular tracks it reminds me of London's Circle Line. Encompassing Qianmen, Fuchengmen and Chongwenmen, it's clear to see Line 2 acts as a reminder of Beijing's walled city gate past. Wearing my mask, Corona didn't stop me!

                                 

Beijing Railway Station was first introduced to me when I took my first Beijing departing night train during 2018. Line 2 was first opened in 1985, being over 35 years meant this line was one of China's first underground mass transit lines. The architecture within Beijing Railway Station's Line 2 subway station has a period stone style at platform level, that reminded me of the Pyongyang Metro in the DPRK. Was the Pyongyang Metro modelled on Beijing's Line 2? Keeping my eyes on the prize was fundamental each time I would either leave or enter Beijing Railway Station's own Line 2 subway station, the different layout only gives for a one way system that if taken during rush periods would great delays and create much annoyance because of the human traffic! My visits to Beijing Railway Station won't be anymore, I am moving onto to a city that only has a modern railway station. Line 2's railway station has helped me out! It was nice to revisit the outside of the station during a quieter time, things were not stressed. All was calm. 

Only a few stops along Line 2 from Beijing Railway Station's subway stop lies Yong He Gong Lama Temple Subway Station, I have needed that station a few times over the years that I have spent in Beijing. The main Entry and Exit Bureau can be accessed from that station, I have been meaning to visit the Yong He Gong Lama Temple but things just never happened. During my night Hutong food tour I met my leader and group at that subway station! Talking about the Entry and Exit Bureau, I needed to take care of some business during early to mid February 2020 because of my short stay permit. Things were abnormally quiet during that shutdown period! Due to inclement weather and the complete shutdown of temples within the city due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus my final chances to visit that temple were taken out of my control. I will be returning to Beijing like I did to Wuhan in the next year, I'll catch that Line 2 train to that station for the temple. I make this promise to Line 2 and to the city! Goodbye, B! 


During 2019 I made it to Qianmen Pedestrian Street, the first time I took the Beijing Subway to Line 7 then when I was done I took Line 2 at Qianmen Subway Station. Walking the length of the pedestrian street allowed me to see the mostly renovated waking street. I was able to the tram that trailed along the length the street. Things weren't ideal the first time, making tracks back to Qianmen Street I went straight to Qianmen Station on Line 2. I enjoyed the sights along the street along with the secret feeling Hutong's that I found not so far away from the stations exit. Line 2's Qianmen Station gave me views of the Qianmen Drum Tower, I was snatching all of those Beijing points of interests because I knew that my time in that Capital was only temporary. Going in a circular moment allowed me to not make any mistakes whilst travelling on Line 2, the right way would always be found! Keep it moving 前门! Qianmen was nice, it took two times to see it properly but both times counted equally. Yes B, Line 2 got me to where I needed to be! 

Line 1 wasn't needed to reach Tiananmen Square when I needed to meet my tour guide during that heavily polluted Saturday morning, no! I took my usual Line's 15 to 13 then to 2 in order to reach Qianmen Subway Station. Using 'Exit A' allowed me to access Beijing's Tiananmen Square without having to face any crazy checkpoint near the National Museum of China, I didn't need that negativity in my life, of course not! Line 2 might not be the newest line within Beijing's ever-growing network but its got character with that marble design it showcases. During my latest ride along the tracks of Line 2's network I noticed that the signed had been replaced with fresh and clearer new signs, allowing for concise transfer times at those connecting stations. I was quietly impressed, the system needs more transparency and with so many stations, things need to be much clearer! Line 2 may actually be the final that I take during my 2017-2020 stint in Beijing! L2, get that renovation completed before I come back because I'm not playing! Go, go!


Yes, my November 2019 breakfast Hutong tour took me around the Fuchengmen Hutong area, the meeting point for that tour happened to be on Line 2 at Fuchengmen Subway Station! Taxing it to that meeting point was the one, the week at work had been no joke but the traffic was an even bigger joke! Present day I have forgotten what a traffic jam looks like due to the Coronavirus epidemic that's shutdown most of the city! Anyway, the morning out allowed me to try all sorts of Beijing foods during that morning time period, just the Saturday love that I needed! Making my way back to Line 2's Fuchengmen Subway Station to get my currency converted before I would be making my return to the United States of America. I needed those Dollars! Line 2 had me covered in many senses, Fuchengmen acted as another Beijing 'gate' that formally kept the ancient walled city tight and secure! Without Line 2 I would have needed to get inventive if I ever wanted to fine Line 10's Tuanjiehu. Line 2 got me to where I needed to be! 

Line 2 may not be the longest line within the vast network of Beijing's Subway system, but with its circular motion and longevity its got a story to tell. For me I always loved travelling on the older lines because the newer stations are so modern looking with no character from the previous legacy of the city's development and past in one place. I have every faith that as Beijing makes more lines for the people to get from a to b, its going to give Line 2 more connections and choices to link the city of Beijing better, now that would be much better! From Beijing Railway Station to the Yong He Gong Lama Temple, I know that I'll be making tracks back to Beijing in the future to mop up those missed chances from the stresses of work to the final months that saw the wrath of the Coronavirus. My breakfast Hutong food tour allowed me to see Fuchengmen in all of its Hutong glory, helping me connect onwards after my tour. Leaving this Beijing Subway at this final station stop, I will definitely keep those memories close. See you! 

Team Line 2 Much!

Joseph Harrison 

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