LINE 1 METRO
WHAT LURKS IN THOSE TUNNELS?
The metro in Beijing is the most convenient and comfortable way to commute (except during rush hour). The hydra-like tracks under and above ground did not happen overnight. It all started back in 1965 when land was cleared to construct the network. The first line was Line 1. Shocker...
Legend has it that in the initial days of construction, the workers faced a lot of problems from equipment malfunctioning to horrific accidents. The locals believed that the development had infuriated the dead who had become homeless because of the digging and drilling. It is also believed that because Line 1 connects to Babaoshan (the cemetery), it held a certain sense of other worldly spirit. To solve the problems, monks were brought in to perform ceremonies to put the souls at rest. It was decided that the metro would not run after 11pm (it is believed that 11pm to 1am is the time for souls to rest) except for one train that would do a lap without any live passengers to deliver the souls back to their resting place. Surprisingly, after this ceremony there were no more troubles and the construction continued on without a hitch. Though the last metro in Beijing today runs past 11pm, if you are not adventurous, leave the last train to the spirits. You never know what lurks in those dark tunnels.
By the way, did you know that Line 1 extends to a few restricted stations beyond Pingguoyuan? Why? Some say it leads to a military base and others say it has secret bunker-like facility since 1950. The fact is that Line 1 of Beijing metro is shrouded with some mysteries.