The World’s Deepest Subway Station Will Clog Up Your Ears

The Hongyancun subway station in Chongqing, China is 116 meters deep and the difference in air pressure will often leave users with clogged ears when accessed via its elevator.

When the air pressure outside of the eardrum becomes different than the pressure inside, you experience ear barotrauma. It occurs most often during steep declines and descents and is usually associated with plane takeoffs and landings, or driving up or down mountains. Most subway stations don’t usually cause ear barotrauma, because they aren’t deep or steep enough for your ears to register a significant enough difference in air pressure. But using the elevator to reach the world’s deepest subway station might actually clog up your ears. That’s because it is located 116 meters below the surface, the equivalent of about 40 floors underground.

Hongyancun Station is located on Chongqing Metro Lines 5 and 9, between Jingwei Avenue and Shabin Road, in Chongqing’s Yuzhong District. The Chinese metropolis is famous for its hilly landscape, with roads winding up and down and slopes dotted with houses and buildings, and it was this particularity that led to the creation of the deepest subway in China and the whole world.

Hongyan Village lies on the south bank of the Jialingjiang River near the Hualong Bridge out of Chongqing suburb. It is located atop one of the many hills in the Chinese municipality, so workers had to deep extremely deep to connect the new station to the city’s subway lines. It reportedly took people 38 minutes to climb from the bottom of the station to the surface and allegedly felt like climbing a mountain every day. The station was completed in 2022, after 400 days of grueling work.

Because of its extreme depth, Hongyancun Station quickly became somewhat of a tourist attraction in Chongqing. There are videos of people visiting the city just to descend to the bottom of Hongyancun Station, using either eight large escalators or the modern elevator. Because of the steep decline, the latter reportedly leaves people with clogged ears.

Interestingly, it takes 53 seconds to reach the bottom of Hongyancun Station via the elevator, and over 10 minutes via the escalators.


Before Hongyancun Station was inaugurated, the title of the world’s deepest subway station belonged to the Arsenalna station of the Kyiv Metro.