Saturday, September 12, 2009

Buenos Aires Subte, Línea A


The subway line that runs just north of my current apartment is the original. Built in 1913, it's the city's (and the Southern Hemisphere's) oldest. And it shows--in a good way.

Most of the cars threading Line A glow golden on the inside. This comes from the extensive use of wood paneling, which covers the walls, doors, window frames, even the seats. White metal poles rise from the tops of the benches to meet the ceiling in flowery column tops, and the light fixtures invoke gas lamps, not CFLs.

Today, on the now-familiar journey from Almagro to the Centro, a busking violinist played our car, bowing tango chords that the other passengers nodded along to. Two songs later, he passed the hat around and stepped out the sliding wooden doors--the ones you sometimes have to open by hand--leaving the rhythmic knock of the train as it entered the next low, coal-black tunnel.

* Photo by Joel Mann

3 comments:

Kathy Amen said...

Wow! That shot of the car interior could be a double of some I took at the London Transport Museum in old tube cars. How neat that BA has kept their lovely wooden seats. Sounds like a thoughtful and interesting mass transit system.

Laura said...

Hal, dejé un comentario antes, pero creo que no fue recibido...Te decía que creo que la Línea B, que va a Caballito desde la Plaza de Mayo, también tiene vagones así.
Qué lindo recuerdo de mi Buenos Aires querido!
Lau

Morgan said...

Hi there!
I travelled in all Argentine subway lines, and the oldest one as you say is A (the light green) which goes from Caballito to Plaza de Mayo. Line B (red) is newer.
Line D (green) was really near my apartment in Palermo, Buenos Aires and was very useful for me!