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Station Announcements - Subway Systems (U-Bahn)


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Light Rail


Announements from the following cities are available:

Please click on one of the pictures to access the annoucements from the corresponding city.


Amsterdam's subway - operated by GVB - commenced service in 1977 and is a typical example of all those subway systems around the world built to alleviate substantial traffic problems. The system consists of three full subway lines: Two serve the southeastern parts of the city, while the third one serves the western parts in a semicircle. A fourth line, called "Sneltram" ("Fast light rail"), serves the southern Amstelveen part of the city. It uses the subway alignment for access to the city center, but branches off at "Zuid/WTC" station and continues as a normal light rail line.


America is well known for extensive use of cars. Atlanta can be regarded as a prime example of a city totally devoted to cars: It's crossed by two major Interstate highways with up to 8 lanes in each direction. In the light of that argument, it comes as quite a surprise that Atlanta has any rail-based public transit at all. Admittedly, the system itself is rather small for a city with 4 million inhabitants - it consists of a simple cross with one route in each direction (east, west, north and south). However, the trains are very comfortable and fast and many outlying stations feature gigantic parking lots to encourage car users to take the train for their journey downtown. The system is operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA for short, and nowadays, the entire public transit system is simply referred to as "MARTA"


Werner von Siemens choose Berlin to present his new invention: An electric locomotive. Ever since, he tried to convince Berlin's city council to allow him to construct electric railways in Berlin. However, he himself never witnesses the opening of the first line in 1902, built by his company, as he had died a few years ealier. To the present day, the system has grown to 9 lines, operated by BVG. In addition, Berlin featured the only subway system that could take you into another country...and another economic system. From 1961 until 1989, two West Berlin subway lines crossed the territory of the communist eastern Berlin without stopping at intermediate stations - except one: "Friedrichstraße", where you could get off and enter East Berlin.


Hamburg subway is a misnomer - it's mostly an elevated railway. Not only does the operator's name (Hamburger Hochbahn AG - Hamburg Elevated AG) reflect this, large portions of the system run on viaducts or embankments. The system evolved from a circle serving the harbor and the rich districts around the Alster lake. From this circle, several lines branched off into suburban parts of the city. It wasn't until after World War II that two additional lines had been build through the downtown area and the old circle line service was replaced by three lines crossing downtown Hamburg. Hamburg's system is very well maintained with modern quiet trains. Currently, work is underway to construct a fourth line into the "Harbor City" and to reinstate the old circle line service.


London's Underground is the "mother" of all subway systems. 1863 saw the opening of the first railway tunnel under downtown London, served by steam trains. This part of the system later developed into the sub-surface system with equipment resembling main line trains. In 1890, the first tube line was opened by boring tunnels deep in the ground. The latter system saw rapid expansion and also gave the entire London Underground its nickname: "The Tube". However, London's Underground used to be (in)famous for overcrowding, accidents, broken or canceled trains, dirty and old trains and stations, mostly for lack of funding. Just a few years ago, England's politicians (finally?) realized the Underground's important role in a functioning city environment and have now started to pick up the pieces and invest more money in the system. The London Underground is a part of Transport for London - the adminstrative body trying to take control of London's entire public transit network



The recordings on this site are meant to demonstrate how each individual transit company uses their announcements. All recordings were made by me in regularly scheduled services. Commercial use and publication of the recordinds is not permitted.

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Page created: 2009