China / Society

Old mine rails transformed into destination for romance

By Huo Yan in Heshan, Guangxi and Lin Shujuan in Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-06 08:20

Old mine rails transformed into destination for romance

A 7-kilometer rail in Heshan has become a magnet for local people for their wedding photos. Photos by Huo Yan / China Daily

New focus will help create jobs and restore environment while recalling former industry

A 3-kilometer Tunnel of Love near Klevan, Ukraine, regarded as one of the most romantic spots in the world for lovers, carries a tale of how a sincere wish made by a couple walking beneath its heavy arches of leaves is likely to come true.

Chinese lovers need not travel so far to get a similar, and no less romantic, experience.

In Heshan, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the local tourism administration has transformed a 7-km length of rail into a green and flowery tunnel, luring tourists with pedal-powered carts that run along the tracks.

Unlike the rail in Klevan, which is still used by trains that chug through it three times a day to deliver factory wood, the rail in Heshan was discontinued in 2010 after seven decades of transporting coal out of the once-thriving mining city. Built in 1941, the line connecting Heshan with the nearby city of Laibin was the first in the region.

Heshan once boasted a coal reserve of about 600 million tons. But by 2009, it had exhausted its coal resources, leaving a high level of joblessness and a hollow underground that posed significant geological risks.

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