29 November 2013

Metro signs

Take the picture quiz - how many world metro signs do you recognise? 2/10 in my case, haven't travelled much... but I have travelled on this one
in December 1995, in the company of a group of schoolgirls, as part of a tour of the city, in temperatures of -20C. A journey on the Metro wasn't part of the plan, but became necessary, possibly because of a problem with the tour bus. Our guide looked worried, but led us bravely on.
In the booth at the foot of the escalator was a solid woman who hurried people off
the escalator, which went so fast that her job might actually have been to stop them falling (via)
Chandeliers everywhere! The journey involved a change of line, which let us see more of the fabulous architecture and murals - and it was surprising to see how big the tunnels were, with the interchange being on bridges within them.
Spacious platforms - but full of people at rush hour (via)
Many of the rush hour commuters carried big bags. It was one of these - a determined woman with two enormous stripey plastic bags (we surmised these contained everything from her market stall) - who swept three of the girls and me into the carriage, pressing us against the further doors as the carriage filled up. With some consternation I realised the rest of the group was in a different carriage, and that it was up to me to get the girls out at the right stop. Fortunately I knew the name of the stop, but would it be physically possible to squeeze everyone out past those swaddled Russian bodies?

The carriage seemed to be getting fulller and fuller, but our destination, the hotel, was some way out of the centre, and it was a great relief when the woman with the sweeps-all-before-them bags got off before too long. It was an even greater relief to get those girls out of the carriage and reunited with the rest of the group!
Panoramic photo by Bee Flowers (via)
Some photos and facts of the wonderfully-ornate stations are here. A platform 250 metres long, amazing - and that's not the longest one in the system! The first line was opened in 1935, and it serves 9 million passengers a day. One of the stations has an escalator 80 metres (about 250 feet) long.

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