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Metro System Ambiance
July 13, 2014 10:30 AM   Subscribe


 
Toronto
posted by saturday_morning at 10:32 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


....everybody talk about pop muzik!
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:40 AM on July 13 [18 favorites]


the Delhi link is actually Mumbai.
posted by dhruva at 10:43 AM on July 13


I love metros/subways. Thanks for this since I'd never see some of these otherwise.
posted by CrowGoat at 10:48 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


The alphabet of subways!
posted by TedW at 10:55 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Skytrain Vancouver
posted by HillbillyInBC at 10:59 AM on July 13


Weirdly, almost none of the subways/light rail systems I have ridden - Boston, Geneva, Poryland, San Francisco MUNI and BART, and Zurich - are here.
posted by maryr at 11:01 AM on July 13


That's my jam!

Thank you so much for this. Every once in a while I search youtube for video of train trips in various places. This (non-metro) rail video from North Korea is one I keep coming back to, because of the location and the sound (there's an interesting travelogue behind it too).
posted by tychotesla at 11:02 AM on July 13




I took the 7 to Queensboro Plaza but it wouldn't let me transfer to the N and the only reason I'd want to take the 7 farther east is to see the Mets and the Mets haven't been worth the price of a token in years, so I want my money back.
posted by languagehat at 11:14 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


God, I just love the Japanese transportation system.

At the beginning of the Tokyo video, you can actually see the signs that tell you how far away you are from the tracks (235m to go, 155 m to go). This is pretty helpful when you're in a rush or when you think you can just transfer at Nagata-cho from the Nanboku-line to the Ginza-line (and the signs will say something like "635m").

Also, the Ginza line is my favorite line, even though it feels like the oldest.
posted by sour cream at 11:20 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


There is a section of a Moscow station that appears to be inhabited exclusively by pigeons. Or perhaps passengers and staff have been transformed into pigeons by a passing mage from The Master and Margarita.
posted by languagehat at 11:23 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Brilliant collection, I'll add the most northern metro system: Helsinki, Finland
posted by davbo at 11:29 AM on July 13


The extra set of sliding doors at the edge of the platform in Singapore are pretty interesting. I'm kind of surprised that's not a more common feature in other subway systems.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:34 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to do a supercut of these.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:35 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Zurich

Zurich doesn't have light rail -- the S-Bahn is runs on ordinary rail, and is well-integrated with the national rail system (and beyond, some of my commuter choices go all the way to Brussels...)

(Lausanne is the only Swiss city with an actual metro, afaik.)
posted by effbot at 12:16 PM on July 13


Need more ringtones of the Tokyo subway video!
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:20 PM on July 13


Sadly, Chicago was missing my favorite L train moment.

"Grand, this is Grand"

If I ran things, I would make a Disappointing street, just so there could be an amusing automated voice at the L stop.
posted by idiopath at 12:23 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Philadelphia's Broad Street Line used to have a woman with the weirdest accent as the doors closing announcement: "Daws Closing!" Now they have the standard bland "Doors are closing" announcement that they use on the El.
posted by daninnj at 12:45 PM on July 13


The extra set of sliding doors at the edge of the platform in Singapore are pretty interesting.

It didn't come into play since no on got off, but they also have markings on the floor telling you to not wait in front of the doors. You're suppose to wait to the side, let passengers disembark, and then walk on. It was funny to see them after being used to the L in Chicago, but it was nice to know exactly who has the right of way, as it were.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:47 PM on July 13


Obscure Reference: I changed my cell phone ringtone to the pleasant JR ATOS chime for a while. Until I missed several calls while in a train station because I didn't realize that was my phone.
posted by ctmf at 12:47 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Speaking of train station sounds, what is the "bing... bong" sound you can hear every minute or so in the terminal (not only the platform) areas of most Japanese train stations? Once I started hearing that, it drove me crazy wondering what it was.
posted by ctmf at 12:51 PM on July 13


The extra set of sliding doors at the edge of the platform in Singapore are pretty interesting. I'm kind of surprised that's not a more common feature in other subway systems.

They require precise stopping on the part of the train -- computer, not human-controlled trains -- and they're hugely expensive to retrofit into existing stations, so you mostly see them in subway systems that only got started relatively recently. They're quite common in the little monorail systems in airports, for example.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:05 PM on July 13


I love how you can sort of read aspects of national character from the style of each system. London's train doors open and close with what seems like harsh, strict severity, while Moscow's conductors don't even bother to wait until the train stops to open the doors.
posted by Pfardentrott at 1:05 PM on July 13




Sadly, Chicago was missing my favorite L train moment.

"Grand, this is Grand"


Here you go: CTA Red Line.

(This line, to me, is the most interesting - going from the very north side of the city to the south side, going from elevated to subway to elevated again, passing both baseball parks and through several very different neighborhoods)
posted by SisterHavana at 3:20 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Glasgow's needs smell-o-vision. There is no smell on earth quite like the Glasgow subway: part mud, part sewer gas, part tar, part brake material, part wtf.
posted by scruss at 3:38 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


There is no smell on earth quite like the Glasgow subway: part mud, part sewer gas, part tar, part brake material, part wtf.

So, that's where the Worst Toilet in Scotland is located?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:54 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I realize that BART actually is chopped liver, but still. Hmf.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:56 PM on July 13


I used to work on the Jubilee line in London, which has Platform Edge Doors on the extension.

The thing I found interesting about them is that people assume that they are to stop people falling on the tracks. They are not, they're for performance.
See, when a train goes through a tunnel (especially a tight fit one like the London Underground deep tunnels) it pushes a shock wave of air in front of it.
When it comes out at a station that shockwave comes with it, and that's not good if you're on the platform. The PED doors screen off the platform from the shockwave, directing it up and over, so you can accelerate harder and go faster.
You can corroborate this by looking at the Jubilee extension. All of the underground stations East of Waterloo have them, but the above ground stations (built at the same time) do not have them.


Also, as an aside, the trains were not computer controlled when the doors were put in, but there are magnetic interlocks which engage the breaks when the doors are open and other interlocks which prevent the doors opening if not aligned with the PED doors.
So some drivers would coast into the station with their hands on the OPEN DOORS button.
As soon as the interlocks lined up the doors would open and the breaks would engage.
They got told off if anyone found out though.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:20 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


The doors are by now a standard feature in all stations on the Singapore subway system, and if my memory serves me correctly, their installation was greatly expedited by an incident where a student fell onto the rails and lost a leg. Also, out of Singapore's three or four lines only one doesn't have a human at the wheel of every train. Which isn't to say, of course, that there isn't an autopilot kind of situation that leads to perfect parking but sometimes they do have to stop and try again.
posted by undue influence at 4:23 PM on July 13



I dig the "Mind The Gap" announcement at Victoria tube station.

I think of him as The Shouty Man, but I can't remember if I made that up or read it somewhere.
posted by ambivalentic at 5:11 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]




Seriously, the 7 is the New York link? The Staten Island Railway is technically MTA, too. Or if I convince a station employee to carry me on his back from Grand to Montrose. But is it representative?
posted by gramschmidt at 5:31 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Fun links, thanks.
Now I'm wondering two things (...and I assume Wiki can tell me...):

- How many cities in the world have actual, under-the-ground subway systems? 70? 100?
and
- What's the smallest city in the world with a real subway? (I'm thinking maybe Buffalo, NY? pop. ~250,000)


...and to answer my own question, Wiki say "168 systems" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metro_systems, but perhaps not all are "subways"?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 5:51 PM on July 13


SisterHavana: thanks for the link, sadly the announcement has changed since I have been there (or maybe the whole memory is some sort of invention).
posted by idiopath at 7:44 PM on July 13


Thorzdad, I seem to recall seeing those doors at some Paris Metro stations in 2009.
posted by wintermind at 8:15 PM on July 13


> ... When it comes out at a station that shockwave comes with it, and that's not good if you're on the platform.


You and I have different standards for what makes a good metro station.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:50 PM on July 13


- What's the smallest city in the world with a real subway? (I'm thinking maybe Buffalo, NY? pop. ~250,000)

Not sure that really counts since it's above ground for part of its run, and not grade separated. You can just walk across the tracks downtown. More of a fancy LRT. Cf. Toronto's under construction Eglinton line.
posted by maledictory at 10:21 PM on July 13


When it comes out at a station that shockwave comes with it, and that's not good if you're on the platform.

Before the train gets there. Tunnel boom.
posted by ctmf at 11:08 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Ah, gotcha. My subway lines are about 100 years old. The "shockwave" is kind of a nice breeze. I can see how it could be unpleasant at higher speeds.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:42 PM on July 13




- What's the smallest city in the world with a real subway? (I'm thinking maybe Buffalo, NY? pop. ~250,000)

That'd be Lausanne (pop. ~130,000)
posted by maskd at 2:56 AM on July 14


The Chicago video is representative of my memories of the El:

bing, bong
Doors, closing
ckkkkgkgkgkkkRAAROJIECNECOINEJOKLKckkkkgkgkgkkk

They never could figure out that pesky intercom.

Also, the Paris metro smelled like Play-Doh to me. I've never heard this anecdote corroborated, but I'll stand by it until my dying day.
posted by Turkey Glue at 5:12 PM on July 14


Also also, Detroit's worthless rail system (it's a 2.9 mile loop!)
posted by Turkey Glue at 5:15 PM on July 14


ctmf asks:
Speaking of train station sounds, what is the "bing... bong" sound


http://www.soundboard.com/sb/Tokyo_Train_Ringtones translates many of the short ringtones.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:02 AM on July 15


DC Metro Silver Line
posted by schmod at 1:36 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


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