The first section of Shanghai’s Metro Line 7, also called the Expo Line, has opened for public use.

The 34km, 26-station rail section connects the northern Baoshan district to Pudong New Area.

The section allows a service of 24 six-car trains operating at speeds of up to 80kmph at six-minute intervals.

Metro Line 7, which will eventually be extended to Meilanhu in the north-west of Shanghai, is expected to be finished by May ahead of the 2010 Shanghai Expo, when it is expected to serve nearly 70 million visitors during its six-month run.

The line is part of the extension of the city’s metro, which is currently the fifth largest in the world, carrying over three million people daily.