If you’ve emerged from a gleaming modern metro station only to find yourself in a vast wasteland, it’s probably down to one of two scenarios.
Either you’ve time warped to a post-apocalyptic future, or you’re at Caojiawan Station near the city of Chongqing in China.
Opened in October 2015 to connect the rural suburb of Caijiagang with the city center, Caojiawan Station has become legendary throughout China because of its bizarre appearance in the middle of nowhere.
The station’s three exits – only one of them is in use now – are all hidden among overgrown weeds on barren land.
As photos taken earlier this year show, there are no residential buildings, paved roads, shops or other public transportation in sight. And very few commuters.
That’s still the case today.
A station worker recently told Chongqing Morning Post: “Very few passengers get off at this station. Most of the time, there will be no passenger boarding or alighting here.”
Despite its seemingly outlandish location, Caojiawan Station’s location is part of an insightful plan that anticipates growth in rapidly modernizing China – so say Chongqing Rail Transit employees.
“Caojiawan Station may not be in the most popular area for now,” one worker told Chinese media company Manner Video, a Chinese digital video production company. “But with the development of the rail route, it’s possible that it’ll attract more people to the area and help hasten urban development along the line.”
Chongqing’s other transportation wonders
It’s not the first time Chongqing’s mass transit system has set the internet ablaze.
Earlier this year, a video showing a light rail passenger train passing through a 19-story apartment building – where there is a transit stop on the sixth and seventh floor of the building – went viral.
The city’s newly built Huangjuewan Flyover also caught netizens’ attention thanks to its crazily dense tangle of roadways.
Connecting roads in eight directions on five levels with more than 20 ramps, Huangjuewan Flyover is the largest and most complicated hub interchange in country’s southwest area.
Chongqing is clearly a city in a hurry.