#TransportMonth from Buenos Aires: Time warp on the Buenos Aires metro!

by Alistair Mackay

There is a line in the Buenos Aires metro (called the “Subte”, short for subterráneo) that still uses the original carriages from when the Subte was built in 1913. (It was the first metro in Latin America and in the Southern Hemisphere). You could easily miss them, because that line also has the modern carriages running on it.

We had been told to wait for an original, and stood around drinking grapefruit Fanta from the kiosk on the platform while the familiar rush of commuters got in and out of trains. It looked like any other busy metro, anywhere in the world. But then one of the original carriages pulled up and we were no longer in 2011. It’s rickety and wooden, with wooden benches and windows that slide open if you pull on their leather tags. It felt quite surreal, like the train to Hogwarts, as we hurtled through the black, underground tunnels in a train that was clearly designed for overland use, a hundred years ago.

Rumour has it that they are going to pull those last remaining carriages from the system in the next two years, so I’m glad I got to experience it. And if you find yourself in Buenos Aires, concoct a reason to use Line A. There are some great avenues and squares along that route, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.