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Top 10 things you didn't know about the Montreal Metro (and I didn't know either)

Posted by Luc / October 9, 2009

TheMetroSo I was watching Speed today...the movie where Keanu Reeves is trying to stop the bus from blowing up. Man that movie is good. I miss 1990s blockbusters that are absolutely ridiculous. The movie ends on a subway (somehow), when Keanu decapitates Dennis Hopper on top of the train. It made me realize that riding the subway can be a tricky business, so I did some homework and found these Top 10 things you didn't know about the Montreal Metro:

10. Better like it fast
The train models that make up the Metro use electromagnetic brakes to slow them down as they approach a station. What are those you ask? They're the same kind of brakes used for rollercoasters, meaning you're essentially riding the motherfucking Goliath at La Ronde! WOOOOOOSSSSHHHHHH!

9. Entirely Underground
In terms of size the Metro is 2nd only to Toronto in Canada, but its cars run entirely underground (Toronto has a few above grounds stations), which is awesome in case you need to evacuate. I'd pick a dark tunnel over harsh light outdoors any day...right?

8. The Movie of Life
Montreal had streetcars from 1894 to 1959. In 1906 streetcars known as Golden Chariots had theatre style seating to provide a "commanding" view of the sights.

7. Don't go all Elliott Smith
In late 2005, the inside of the Metro cars were redesigned with a more ergonomic color and lighting scheme in order to reduce depression and help motion sickness. Meaning that if you're planning on breaking up with someone you should do it on the subway.

6. Popular allergies
The Metro uses brake blocks made of yellow birch, which is injected with peanut oil to bring it to a complete stop. If you are allergic to peanuts, you should not ride the Metro.

5. SkyNet
The Expo Express operated for 5 years from 1967-1972 to ferry people to the Expo. The trains were entirely controlled by a computer, but it was thought that this would scare people. So to ease fears, they placed a conductor at the front and charged him/her with the duty of opening and closing the doors. This resulted in an incident where a conductor locked himself out of the train as it sped away (actually).

4. Black Beauty
Way back before Metros and the STM, the Montreal transit system was a network of horse drawn carriages. Isn't that waaaccckkky?

There are 342 new trains currently on order and they will all contain high definition flat panel TVs, and hopefully (*crosses fingers*) prime time television.

2. Bring your friends
Montreal boasts 328.5 Million annual riders, good enough for 28th in the world. Be careful Tokyo (1st), we're coming for you and your 3.174 Billion annual riders (actual fact).

1. My first Metro station was Berri-Uqam! Woooo!

(Photo courtesy of Humanoide on the Midnight Poutine Flicker Pool)



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People who are allergic to peanuts are not allergic to peanut oil...
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