Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province, now offers a method of public transportation that’s both efficient and adorable. According to Atlas Obscura, the city officially introduced a new panda-themed subway train and a matching station at the end of July. Fittingly, the train was built to attract visitors to the region’s famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a non-profit breeding and research center for the rare animals.
The Railway Gazette recently published pictures of the train, which is the first phase of a new, in-progress subway line in Chengdu. It offers 17 stops along the line, including the Panda Base. Predictably, the train is plastered in panda motifs. Head-shaped handles dangle from the ceilings, hot pink panda footprints are scattered across the floor, and the poles are painted to look like the celebrated animal’s favorite food: bamboo. Keeping with the whimsical theme, subway announcements are even made in a child’s voice.
Construction for the train began in 2012, and test runs occurred from April 16 to July 16. During the train’s maiden trip, people donned panda costumes and celebrated along with the rest of the riders. As Shanghai Daily reports, Chengdu is further expanding its subway service (with five new lines slated to begin construction this year), which means we might be seeing even more adorable themes in the city's upcoming public transit projects.
Check out a few pictures of the panda train below:
[h/t Atlas Obscura]
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