A train on Chongqing's Line 2 seen approaching the Liziba station which is built inside a residential tower. PHOTO: Weibo

Elevated subways or monorail lines snaking through urban jungles in modern cities have become the norm. But how about trains that penetrate a high-rise tower midair, with a station located in the building?

To commuters on Line 2 of Chongqing’s public rail transit system, taking a train ride from one building to another has become part of their daily life. But the sight of trains whistling through buildings is pulling in curious tourists from other parts of China, and even abroad.

Trains on Line 2 literally run through a 19-story residential block before reaching Liziba station, which occupies the sixth, seventh and eight floors of the building.

Trains leave the Liziba station. Photo: Xinhua via VCG

Ye Tianyi, the lead architect of the Liziba station and residential complex that houses the station and auxiliary equipment, told the People’s Daily it took him two years to finish the design.

“The building and the station were all built in 2005, and having trains running through a building is indeed a stop-gap measure due to geological constraints and our aim to serve more residents in the neighborhood,” he said.

He added that noise and vibration absorbent materials were used to mitigate the nuisance of trains passing through a residential block. The maximum noise is said to be below 60 decibels and the building was also structurally reinforced.

Chongqing, the largest municipality in western China with a population of more than 30 million, is known for its rugged terrain with steep hills in its urban districts.

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