Train Travelogue – 2007

The new lines are snazzy and super-dynamic with glass architecture, they really get people thinking. It makes my life easy and smooth. […] New transport hubs have been redecorated in futuristic fashion.
BBC (United Kingdom; 28 July 2008; English interview and feature, The Olympics Changed My Beijing )


  • National rail networks: Switzerland (Zürich and nationwide, specifically Geneva, Lausanne, Brig, and other cities); United Kingdom (London to Heathrow Airport on the Heathrow Express)
  • Metro/tram networks: China (Beijing Subway), Switzerland (Zürich trams), United Kingdom (London Underground)
  • Mileage this year: Sorry, still being calculated

In 2007, David Feng completed his MA studies in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from the School of Broadcasting of the Communication University of China. But what he was up to next was completely different than engaging in language research. He would head around Beijing by car and explore the city around him.

He took a particular interest in Beijing Subway Line 5, which had been “the promised line” since the 1990s, going through Hepingli. An original opening date of 20 September 2007 was missed; however, this entirely new line would amaze him when it opened on 07 October 2007.

The other key rail project that was in the works was the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, and as part of this, Beijing South Railway Station would be transformed into a new hub. As David did not know what trains would be running on the new line at what speed, he paid relatively less attention on the new line, but still managed to get a few pictures of the line taken as it was being built.

For 2007, he would remain solidly with the Beijing Subway, with the new Line 5 more than impressing him. However, he would not “let go” of national railways… not surprising, as he always travelled by rail in Switzerland!

Throughout 2007, David’s travels were mostly centred around Beijing. Until October, he mostly travelled by car, due to the city’s rather short spartan metro network.

Over the summer, David returned to Switzerland, travelling across the country, and would also be in the UK again — first time since his last visit in 1994. He took the London Underground and its District, Northern, and Victoria lines, gave London Paddington and Victoria stations a quick visit, and also travelled on the Heathrow Express to and from London Heathrow Airport.