(james benedict brown) on the road

Dimanche dans le metro…

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 23 October, 2005

In the graphic novel of Michel Rabagliati Paul dans le metro the Québeçois cartoonist recalls his childhood in Montréal, when he and his friend would spend lazy summer afternoons riding the metro, collecting transfer tickets from the machines by the ticket gates.

This afternoon, partly inspired by a cartoonist I admire, and partly curious to experience some of Montréal’s architecturally quirkier metro stations, the blue (fifth) line was my chosen distraction today. You can plot my route using the STM map here… there’s a world of non-trainspotterish and interesting info as well at this great site. For example… why you can some times smell peanut oil in the stations, how do you identify the last train of the night as it enters the station and what movies have been filmed in the metro?

I took the orange line from Mont-Royal in the direction of Côte-Vertu as far as Snowdon, and then station by station on the blue line. The blue line is appealing since it’s the runt of the network – it doesn’t go anywhere near the downtown districts, and has the highest number of least used stations of the network. Although the stations have been built for them, trains never run at their full length, and on Sundays they’re even shorter, causing occasional panic on station platforms when passengers realise they’re not standing anywhere near the train when it comes to a stop…

My favourite station? Hmm… Acadie for it’s funky colour scheme, and because it’s the least used station on the line (I always like the underdog) and De Castelneau for chunky construction and airy platforms.

Next up: it’s going to have to be the biggie… the full tour of the orange line :)


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