Summer attendance has fallen at Ocean Park for the first time in three years. Attendance reached 1 million last summer and fell to 980,000 this summer, thanks to the swine flu outbreak, which kept some visitors from the mainland at home, park chairman Allan Zeman said. However, despite the drop he remained confident over the forthcoming Halloween Bash. 'We're making it huge this year and we expect a huge turnout. More than 550,000 people visited Ocean Park last Halloween, and I think we are going to break that this year.' Zeman was speaking at the launch ceremony for Ocean Express. The funicular railway connects the two parts of the park through a tunnel. It can carry 400 passengers in each of its two cars, and can handle a maximum of 10,000 people an hour in both directions. The 1,300-metre journey takes three minutes. Visitors can now use the funicular or the cable car system to cross the hill. Looking like a 19th-century explorer's submarine, the funicular is fitted with monitors on the ceiling, which play undersea images, complementing the vibration, sound and light designed to make passengers feel as if they are travelling into the ocean depths in a train. 'I felt bad seeing many people queuing for the cable cars, especially when it was hot ... Then we explored all in-park transport options and decided on Ocean Express,' Zeman said. The railway system is the second project this year to open under the park's Master Redevelopment Project, following the Amazing Asian Animals feature. Other attractions being built include Aqua City, a grand aquarium; Rainforest, an adventure trail and discovery area with family-oriented rides; and Thrill Mountain, 'a ride for thrill-seekers'. The seven new attractions will be ready within three years. Referring to the three alligator gar caught in a public park last week, which have been given a new home at Ocean Park, Zeman said they could be used to educate the public on habitat threats and conservation. The park can take up to five of the fish, which have to be quarantined and observed for 30 days. 'They can be bought from some places but as they are fish we are happy to take care of them. It takes time for us to arrange the facilities,' Zeman added.