Having travelled so many underground networks demands a little résumé, doesn’t it? And since résumés shouldn’t be all-too sentimental I thought that categories, each ranking the most interesting five networks, would be best. Of course I will update the ranking (as per January 2016) the way other subway networks will come across my camera :-) Also some records should be mentioned, shouldn’t they?
Design and Appearance
- Moscow – The Queen of subways and its underground palaces where photography is still kind of prohibited due to a Communist law to protect infra-structure. It seduces with typical Soviet iconography and the worldwide known typical Russian-way of metro construction.
- Stockholm – Even if half of the stations are a daylight thing, the subsurface sections are unique eye catchers having a typical Scandinavian charm.
- Berlin – Creators like Alfred Grenander and Rainer Rümmler shaped the 146 kilometres long Berlin U-Bahn in a historic-technically interesting as well as unusually jazzy-modern way.
- Prague– A dream when it comes to Soviet-type tube constructions that is everything but boring due to colouration and design. Also among the stations of recent date you can find some jaw droppers.
- Lisbon – Portugal’s capital metro is the living proof that side platforms can be everything but boring as it is clean and passionately designed by the use of details as well as most diverse architectural eyecatchers.
Cleanliness and Clarity
- Warsaw – Of course recently built stations are always tidier but the Polish metropolitans also keep an eye on not littering and signposting is no problem for foreigners straight away.
- Glasgow – People getting lost on a single circular line, well, can’t help them ;-) In terms of tidiness the Scotts put up a ban on alcohol vaulting Glasgow among the Top 5.
- Vienna – An underground that scores at understandability as well as cleanliness as it’s pretty functional.
- Stockholm – Definitely comprehensible and handsome is Stockholm’s Tunnelbana, but trains departing from the left instead of the right platform side cause a little confusion.
- Budapest – Having four lines only allows no disorientation despite cryptic Hungarian language and the historically important Földalatti line is in a very good shape since the 1970’s and despite Communism.
Longest underground (Europe)
>>> London Tube
Longest entirely subsurface subway tunnel (Europe)
>>> U7 line, Berlin U-Bahn (soon replaced by Barcelona’s L9)
Deepest located station (World)
>>> Arsenalna, line 1, Kiev Metro (105,50 metres below ground level)
Longest coherent escalator (World)
>>> Park Pobedy, Metro Moskau, line 3 (126 metres length)
Longest unaltered preserved routing (World)
>>> Glasgow Subway (untouched since 1896)
Shortest train frequency (Europe)
>>> Kiev Metro (at rush hour every 60 seconds)
Highest passenger volume (Europe)
>>> Moscow Metro (9 million people per day = 3,285 billions per year)
Coolest PR and online campaign (Europe)
>>> Weil wir Dich lieben, BVG, Berlin U-Bahn
First electric subway (World) as well as first subway of continental Europe
>>> Földalatti line, Metro Budapest
Most discarded plannings before start of construction works
>>> Warsaw Metro