From 1969 the Beijing metro system was not only the first metro network in China, but – since 2015 even ahead of Shanghai and London – in fact the longest metro network in the world, with 19 lines and a total length of 552 kilometers. According to the operator the Beijing metro transports 3.2 billion people per year.
The first metro project in Beijing for which Herrenknecht delivered tunnel boring technology was the construction of the north-south Line 5 from 2001. With the EPB Shield S-169 Herrenknecht laid the foundation for many successful projects throughout China. Until 2007, that machine produced a total of almost four kilometers of segmentally lined tunnel on several sections of Line 5. Other Herrenknecht TBMs have also been underway in over 20 projects, in some cases for several years, to build more than 45 kilometers of efficient metro tunnels.