Walking out of a typical Australian train station will usually lead you directly to a tram or bus stop, or at the very least a major road and some shops.
But things are a bit different on the outskirts of Chongqing in southwest China, which lays claim to perhaps the loneliest and most isolated train station in the world.
Climbing the escalator towards the Caojiawan train station’s one exit leads to overgrown shrubbery and weeds. It opens to a dystopian-like abandoned wasteland with no infrastructure or people to speak off.
You’d be forgiven for thinking it was completely abandoned, or the setting for the latest post-apocalyptic blockbuster.
But the subway station below is entirely operational and functioning. Constructed in 2015, the station was meant to have three exits, but all but one are unused and have been taken over by weeds.
With no roads or public transport above to speak of, unlucky commuters are forced to rely on a van service to get the rest of the way home, as Shanghaiist reports.
The instagram post showing one of the new station entrances in an uninhabited area of Chongqing.
Unsurprisingly, staff at the train station told Chinese media that very few passengers pass through the station, which essentially leads to the middle of nowhere. But compared with Melbourne’s increasingly congested public transport where commuters often resemble sardines in a can, it might be a welcome relief.
Photos of the station went viral this week after they were published in the Chinese media, and since then a plausible explanation has emerged.
In China, subway station design and road construction are handled by two different governmental departments, and it appears the communication between the two may not be optimal.
The Chongqing area is rapidly developing, and city planning may eventually catch up to the train network and build infrastructure around it.
In the meantime, the weeds get longer around what might just be the weirdest train station in the world.
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