Nearly everyone has experienced driving in an unknown area and accidentally turning down a dead-end street. It sucks, but that happens when you’re unfamiliar with the area. Or, perhaps instead of a dead-end road, you end up on one of the world’s “bridges to nowhere.” However, new images of a Chinese subway station, literally in the middle of nowhere, show that the situation can be much stranger than anyone imagined.
Many Chinese cities are going through major construction booms. As populations swell, the government struggles to maintain the necessary infrastructure. That’s one reason traffic is so bad. As a result, carpooling in China basically involves clown cars. All of this explains why people loved the straddling bus. However, with that bus a bust, subways are China’s new hope. For instance, take the city of Chongqing. The urban center in southwestern China has a population of nearly 9 million people. To help move that many residents, there’s an expansive subway system. Currently, four lines exist with two more scheduled to open by 2020.
Although there are plans for additional subway lines, government administrators may want to tap the brakes. The Caojiawan Station on Line 6 opened in 2015. Inside, gleaming blue walls and dazzling black stone floors greet travelers. There’s also a full complement of transportation officers and security guards, too. The impressive sight inside the station leads to the unbelievable contrast when a passenger leaves the station. The stairway ends at a concrete block in the middle of an overgrown, abandoned field. The view is the same for miles in each direction. The scene could easily be from a post-Apocalyptic movie.
The Caojiawan Station does not connect to any highways or other modes of public transportation. As a result, anyone getting off at that stop needs to be shuttled by van to their destination. The local government defended its decision to build the subway to nowhere as a sign of its long-term planning. Other officials in the national government, however, blame the weird situation on the fact that road and subway construction are handled by two separate government departments.
Actually pretty smart to have transportation in place; housing and businesses can be be quickly built around the area and people will flock to it.
You raise a good point.
Brilliant logic: companies will spend billions to relocate to nowhere just because you can get there. This is how we get Hillary and Bernie.
Having spent 9 consecutive years roaming Central and East Asia (mostly China) starting in 2003, I witnessed some amazing transformations in city and rural areas. Not unusual were seemingly unfinished construction projects, roads and highways ‘to nowhere’. Amazing were two very eerie looking ‘ghost towns’, hundreds of miles apart, with city blocks of virtually empty hi-rise apartments and empty streets devoid of any physical human presence (that we knew of). My understanding was that the empty roads and cities were the result of plans for future communities as the government renews push to move the rural population into new cities. Now the Chinese government, if the rumors hold true, is poised to abandon the ‘one child’ policy and encourage more births in a family.