The metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Group, is busy adding new trains to increase the Metro's limited capacity.
Eighteen seven-carriage trains, which can each carry more than 2,100 passengers, are expected to be added to Line 8 by the end of the year.
One of them has already arrived but the Metro authority is still testing it, officials said yesterday. At the moment 24 trains run on the line.
One month into the trial on the second extension of Line 8, nearly 360,000 commuters took the line each day.
"The trains arrived at some stations with passengers packed like sardines inside the carriages," said Line 8 official Qi Yong. "We expect more commuters in the future."
Local experts and commuters have urged Metro management to increase capacity during rush hours, but Shentong official Sang Wanfa said it takes nearly two years to get the trains.
"We try our best to give newly bought trains a thorough check to avoid problems which will offset the increase of the capacity," said Lan Tian, an official with Shanghai Metro management.
The lack of trains has resulted in more breakdowns as the running trains aren't getting routine maintenance, the authority said.
There were seven reported malfunctions on Line 8 in just 10 days from late June.
Line 2 suffered its longest breakdown on July 15 after a power failure in a tunnel.
Early next year Line 2 will get 21 new eight-carriage trains, which should increase capacity by at least 30 percent.
Currently there are 24 trains on Line 2 and the Metro operator plans to turn the current six-carriage trains into eight-carriage trains, which should increase the train's capacity by 600 people to 2,400.
(Shanghai Daily August 6, 2009)