Today will be the last run for 55 centenarian wooden coaches of the Line A subway. Built by Belgian company La Brugeoise, they are the oldest coaches in operation in the world, belonging to the oldest subway in Latin America. With its manually operated doors, mirrors, lamps, leather hand holds and antique decorations, trips on this line were a taste of the past which will be missed by many.
Their replacement by Chinese made coaches is symbolic of today’s reality, the passage of time and the different requirements of the present – efficiency, speed, safety, space. To think that the service life of these units is around 30 years and we have been using them for over the triple of this makes us wonder how we haven’t had more accidents.
Someday in the future we will be able to tell our children or grandchildren we travelled in these venerable relics, with its moving sides and creaky sounds, full of history and nostalgia, and lived to tell the tale, together with millions of passengers – normal people and historical figures – during a hundred years.