Anybody who uses the DC Metro system on a regular basis, like I have on almost a daily basis for the last 16 months, will appreciate this story from the Washington Post
. The dependability and reliability of the Moscow escalators (Soviet efficiency?) seem almost too good to be true after experiencing the frequent (almost daily) breakdowns of the DC Metro system (capitalist inefficiency?):
"The trains get to stop every few minutes. Not the escalators. In a city tied together by its phenomenally jampacked subway system, the escalators here just keep on rolling - morning, noon and half the night.
There are 643 of them in the Moscow Metro. This is a system, like Washington's, with deep, deep stations, but, unlike in Washington, passengers here are rarely left to hoof it on their own up or down immobilized stairways. It wouldn't work, because people don't walk fast enough. At rush hours fully loaded trains run on 90-second intervals; it's up to the escalators to get the passengers delivered, but just as important, to whisk them away again before they start bunching up and spilling off the platforms and onto the tracks.
"In my opinion, they're much more important than trains," says Sergei Likhachev. He would say that, though. He's the chief mechanic of the Moscow Metro's escalator division.
HT: Lauren Johnson