Management & Operations

South America's first subway turns 101

Posted on December 3, 2014

Buenos Aires Subte station entrance - You Need Style - Flickr 2008
Buenos Aires Subte station entrance - You Need Style - Flickr 2008
BUENOS AIRES — South America's first subway system turned 101 years old this week. The Buenos Aires subway system, known as Subte, debuted December 1, 1913. Originally spanning 2.1 miles, the first rail cars took Porteños between Plaza de Mayo and Plaza Miserere along a single line. Today, Subte has 83 stations along six different lines and an annual ridership of 310 million, CityLab reported.

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Buenos Aires Subte subway 1912 - Desconocido via Wikimedia Commons
Buenos Aires Subte subway 1912 - Desconocido via Wikimedia Commons
Many of those very same first trains, Belgian-made "La Brugeoise" cars, stayed in service until mid-January 2013, replaced with modern subway cars and just missing out on a full 100 years of service, according to the report.

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Two of the 78 cars were restored and put on display at Plaza de Mayo to commemorate Subte's centenary but the rest of the La Brugeoise cars sat exposed outside a rail yard until last March resulting in damage from vandalism.

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