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Jim

Montreal Metro Turns Fifty

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Fifty years ago today (October 14, 1966), the Metro opened in Montreal.  CTV Canada has a wonderful news story about the history of Metro and Jean Drapeau's vision for his city.  There are some scenes of Expo and an account of what will become of most of the 1966 Metro cars.  Some will become a part of new high rise, some will go to museums and one will become a cafe in Montreal.  The story can be found on CTV's website and will be archived.  Click on CTV National News and you will find separate links to recent broadcast news and feature stories.  It is titled:  "Fifty Years Underground."

Sorry for the three exact posts.  I had trouble getting the site to accept it and kept seeing a tag that read "Something went wrong" and I must have clicked submit too many times.

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Thanks Jim. I learned that the metro ran on rubber wheels. Always thought that was a problem in colder climates. It was one of the negatives that kept the Skybus in Pittsburgh from being nothing more than a ride at the county fair. 

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Yes, it runs on rubber wheels.  It was considered a powerful innovation in 1966.  The rubber wheels provide better traction than steel.  Because the entire Metro system is underground there is no problem concerning cold or snowy weather.  The major negative with rubber wheels is that they tend to require more energy to operate the train because of the grip the wheels provide.  One advantage that I have always noticed is that the trains are much quieter than a subway running on steel rails.  When the Metro trains enter the stations, they arrive with a "woosh" sound.  I have always found that to be impressive.

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That rubber tired Metro was about as spectacular as the Expo for 10-year old me visiting from NYC. 

Riding the NYC subway was without exagerration a descent into hell with the most horrifically loud screeches of the steel wheels grinding against the rails driving like spikes into my ears. Add to that the lights flickering, blue flashes off the third rail, the tooth-jarring lurching and swaying, and the fact that these subway tortures usually ended in dentist visits, and you have a complete sensory trauma I defy you to distinguish from an artillery barrage.

The prospect of silent, smooth running rubber tires seemed like a dream compared to this hot mess of transportation. 

Monorails running above the dividers of NYC highways and refitting the offensive subway cars with rubber tires were parts of my developing plan for solving the problems of the world inspired by World's Fairs. 

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9 hours ago, xl5er said:

That rubber tired Metro was about as spectacular as the Expo for 10-year old me visiting from NYC. 

Riding the NYC subway was without exagerration a descent into hell with the most horrifically loud screeches of the steel wheels grinding against the rails driving like spikes into my ears. Add to that the lights flickering, blue flashes off the third rail, the tooth-jarring lurching and swaying, and the fact that these subway tortures usually ended in dentist visits, and you have a complete sensory trauma I defy you to distinguish from an artillery barrage.

The prospect of silent, smooth running rubber tires seemed like a dream compared to this hot mess of transportation. 

Monorails running above the dividers of NYC highways and refitting the offensive subway cars with rubber tires were parts of my developing plan for solving the problems of the world inspired by World's Fairs. 

Great minds think alike. You pretty well summed up my thoughts as well.

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I will add that the Montreal Metro stations were (and still are) incredible places.  Each is different.  Each contains some form of civic art.  They are clean and well lighted.  

The Metro remains an excellent system.  I can still remember the Expo Express as well.  What I would give to ride that one more time.

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