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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #1
Slagathor
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MISC | Superway/Overground

For the most part, subway or underground systems tend to be exactly that: buried underneath our feet. But not always. Some cities opt for viaducts or bridges, even in their city centers where land and property prices tend to be high. The reasons for this can be diverse: tricky soil with a high water table, earthquake vulnerability or simply cost.

Drawbacks include possible demolition of precious architecture and a shadow effect. Of course above ground stations also tend to be less comfortable for waiting passengers in certain climates.

What do you prefer? Above or below? How so? Which systems in the world prove your point or are the exception to your rule?

Personally I think the system is mostly suitable for warmer climates where cold and wind are not big factors unlike here in Northern Europe. Sometimes, above ground transit systems also add to the metropolitan feel of a city, such as in Bangkok of which Codename B posted some excellent photos earlier:

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BTS & BRT Interchange


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Old April 19th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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Like riding them. The stations are light and airy and there are things to see from the train. I can tolerate the aesthetics of elevated infrastructure, even appreciate it if it's got some beauty of its own.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:40 PM   #3
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Then it has to be Paris with its sections above ground.




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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:42 PM   #4
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And more of Paris Metro...




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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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Paris has the best overground in my opinion. It's stylish, it's beautiful.
Not just agressive masive concret structures.




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Old April 20th, 2013, 09:58 AM   #6
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"Overview":

Overground with a View

listing 32 cities.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
What do you prefer? Above or below? How so? Which systems in the world prove your point or are the exception to your rule?

Personally I think the system is mostly suitable for warmer climates where cold and wind are not big factors unlike here in Northern Europe. Sometimes, above ground transit systems also add to the metropolitan feel of a city, such as in Bangkok of which Codename B posted some excellent photos earlier:
I prefer overground any day and in any climate. Daylight and a view makes the ride so much more pleasant. In cold climates, overground has a disadvantage of occasional delays if there is heavy snowfall, but with proper snow/ice clearing procedures it's rarely a factor.

It doesn't make sense to tear down lots of buildings to build a metro though, so underground is the best solution for new lines in older, densely built areas.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micro View Post
"Overview":

Overground with a View

listing 32 cities.
Thanks! I had no idea that site existed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbicide View Post
I prefer overground any day and in any climate. Daylight and a view makes the ride so much more pleasant. In cold climates, overground has a disadvantage of occasional delays if there is heavy snowfall, but with proper snow/ice clearing procedures it's rarely a factor.

It doesn't make sense to tear down lots of buildings to build a metro though, so underground is the best solution for new lines in older, densely built areas.
I forgot to mention views. Fabulaz posted some pictures of Paris, I love the line that goes right near the Eiffel Tower giving you a great view of it.

But if the view is just suburbia and it means you have to stand in the bitter cold waiting for your train, would you still like it?
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Old April 20th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
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But if the view is just suburbia and it means you have to stand in the bitter cold waiting for your train, would you still like it?
Yes. Primarily because I like daylight, but a view of suburbia is more interesting than a tunnel wall as well.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micro View Post
"Overview":

Overground with a View

listing 32 cities.
That's probably not nearly complete. And for some cities listed it's not complete, either. E.g. it lacks Berlins Oberbaumbrücke or Viennas Gürtellinie.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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Personally I don't approve of having elevated structures over urban streets, but over suburban streets I don't mind (since they tend to be wide with buildings set back).

I've heard people mention views before, but it's hardly fair for people just passing through to get nice views when people living and working on the street to be impacted by the noise, reduced views, lack of light. and poor aesthetics. It's going to have a much bigger impact on locals who would be spending much more time there compared to people on the train who would usually be commuting no more than 1-2 hours per week day.

But on suburban streets, locals would be less impacted since the streetwall would not be that close to the elevated structure. Also, in suburbs, the economics may not support the burying of infrastructure like they would in a dense area.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micro View Post
"Overview":

Overground with a View

listing 32 cities.
Copenhagen is missing on the list.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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Roma (Italy), Valencia, Madrid (Spain), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Lille, Marseille, Toulouse (France), Helsinky (Finland), Nuremberg (Germany), Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou (China) are missing too, and sure many others...

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Old April 20th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #14
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Don't forget the "with a View".
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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
That's probably not nearly complete. And for some cities listed it's not complete, either. E.g. it lacks Berlins Oberbaumbrücke or Viennas Gürtellinie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato ku View Post
Don't forget the "with a View".
Yes, Thank you! The Metros with a View page is meant to list the lines in the world with the most spectacular views from within the trains. It's not meant to list every elevated line. It would be very long then, as nearly every metro system has them.

And yes, the list may be incomplete, suggestions are welcome! Stunning views, please!

(For Berlin, which I know very well, the Stadtbahn (S-Bahn) line has good views as it runs through the city center and passes many sights. Oberbaumbrücke itself is nice to look at, but from inside the train that passes it, it's something like "just another river crossing".)
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Old April 21st, 2013, 12:18 AM   #16
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Well, I think the lines listed by me have view as interesting as some in the "32 list"
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Old June 14th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #17
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Milan, suburban branches of metro line 2.







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Old June 14th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #18
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That's hideous, especially by Western European standards. Even here in Sao Paulo it would be a bit of an eyesore.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 07:12 PM   #19
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The elevated has been built on the route of a former power line. It was opened in 1981.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #20
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I quite like old elevated lines like the one in Paris, but modern ones are usually hideous concrete monsters.
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