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Metros with a View






Riding a metro can be a pleasure when the view out of the windows does not end at the inside of a dark tunnel. Some of the world's elevated metro stretches offer nice views of cityscapes or landmarks.

The following selection of the most spectacular views is the result of a discussion on Urbanrail newsgroup. Thanks to the photographers who provided some of the images! Please note that many of the photos below are only of informational character and do not always show the best possible views from the trains. Photos of some places are still missing at all. If you have photos, links or suggestions, please go to the Metro Bits Forum.
Page updated 11 Jan 2010.




Athens

Metro line 1 passes the archaeological site of the Agora (limited view). The same line also has a magnificent view of the Olympic Complex Park designed by Santiago Calatrava, and on its route from Thission to Petralona provides a panoramic view of the Gazi area which is an old Gas Fuel factory transformed into a cultural complex.

Photo by Bobby H, en.wikipedia.org



Baltimore

If you're approaching downtown Baltimore from the south via the Light Rail, there's a bridge that goes over the middle branch of the Patapsco river, that is like a roller-coaster view of the city.

Photo by billreuter, panoramio.com



Berlin

U-Bahn lines U1 and U2 provide a view of the new remarkable Potsdamer Platz buildings from the stretch between Gleisdreieck and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park stations.
On the elevated Stadtbahn stretch, S-Bahn lines S5, S7, S75 and S9 provide nice views of Berlin's major landmarks

Photo by stadtbahner.de
Also on the Stadtbahn line.

Photo by stadtbahner.de



Boston

On the Red Line you get a good view over the Charles River on the Longfellow Bridge between Charles/MGH and Kendall.

Photo by metrobits.org



Brussels

A short open stretch before arriving at Heysel provides a view of the Atomium.

Photo by virtualtourist.com



Catania

Until now, this metro on the Italian island of Sicily consists of a short line with only a few underground stations. The at-grade part of the line runs along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Photo by urbanrail.net



Chicago

The coolest view from a train to Midway is as it makes the turn at 54th and Knox, just a few blocks from the little airport. The L tracks have to go over the Belt RR tracks and occasionally there will be a plane landing on the runway that's parallel to the L. The train is actually higher than the plane.
The downtown Loop is located amidst the world's first and most famous skyscraper buildings. Randolph-Wabash station is on the Loop.

Photo by chicago-l.org
LaSalle/Van Buren station on the Loop.

Photo by metrobits.org
A Brown Line train on the Wells Street bridge (a drawbridge) across the Chicago River.

Photo by Yuri Popov , www-personal.umich.edu



Chongqing

The monorail offers a nice view.

Photo by bababian.com



Detroit

The automated people mover operates on a loop through downtown Detroit and provides interesting views of the central business district skyscrapers and waterfront.

Photo by Wigwam Jones, flickr.com



Dubai

Most of the metro is elevated and provides breathtaking views of Dubai's spectacular skyscraper architecture as it runs along the very long Sheikh Zayed Road. It is a recommended sightseeing option for tourists, and as the metro is driverless, you can enjoy the views from the front window like in this video: youtube.com.

Photo by Imre Solt, imresolt.com
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is another option for excellent views.

Photo by freakingkid.com



Dublin

Frequent views of the Irish sea along the ride make DART one of the most attractive suburban metro lines in the world. The line is running north and south of Dublin along the coast around the bay. Beaches can be seen, cliffs, and islands in the distance. The photo shows the view out of the window near Killiney station.

Photo by metrobits.org
Killiney station is right at the beach.

Photo by metrobits.org



Hamburg

Suburban line S21 offers a nice view of the downtown lakes on both sides of the tracks between Dammtor and Hauptbahnhof stations.
From Rödingsmarkt to Landungsbrücken, the elevated U3 line runs for about 1 km along the harbourfront with a view of oceanliners and historic stock buildings.

Photo by metrobits.org



London

Docklands Light Rail (DLR) is a driverless metro, and especially from the seats in the first row you can see it all: yacht harbours, skyscrapers, the Millennium Dome and much more. The photo shows one of the red-blue DLR trains swooshing past near Limehouse station.

Photo by metrobits.org
The Docklands Light Railway passing through Canary Wharf.

Photo by Ashton Mason, ashtonmason.net
Near Canary Wharf, the DLR runs amidst the highrise buildings.

Photo by www-ccs.cs.umass.edu



Manila

Line 1 passengers get good views of the city.

Photo by Lorenzo Zucchi, flickr.com
Line 2 is also mostly elevated and offers good views.

Photo by manila.tumblr.com



Medellin

Line A is elevated and provides a view of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Photo by reed.edu



Miami

The free Metromover seems like a great way to get an impression of the city.

Photo by ktransit.com



Moscow

Line 4 (Filjovskaya, light blue) runs over a bridge across the Moscow river near Kievskaya station and provides a view of the grand buildings in the centre of the city. The bridge was built in 1938.

Photo by metrobits.org
Line 1 runs over another bridge across the Moscow river.

Photo by metro.ru



New York

One can get a nice scenic view on the A train going to Far Rockaway.

Photo by nycsubway.org
Line G at Smith/9th Streets offers a perfect view of the Manhattan Skyline (see picture). Line 7 provides a similar view at 33rd St-Rawson Queensboro Plaza. For a more detailed description of the sights see this MSNBC article.

Photo by nycsubway.org



Newcastle

There are good views of the bridges over the Tyne on the metro bridge that crosses the river between the undergound portions in central Newcastle and Gateshead.

Photo by metrobits.org



Oporto

There's a spectacular view of the city when the train crosses Dom Luis I bridge.

Photo by Pedro Moreira, olhares.com



Oslo

One can enjoy a great view over the city and the fjord from near Frognerseteren, terminus of Line 1.

Photo by pix.njk.no



Paris

Line 6 and line 2 together form a circle around the city. They run mostly on elevated tracks and provide views of the Eiffel tower (from Pont de Bir Hakeim) and other sights. Line 1 provides a view of La Defense.

Photo by metrobits.org
Line 6 on the Pont de Bir Hakeim.

Photo by railfaneurope.net



Philadelphia

You can get a good view of the skylines of Philadelphia and Camden when PATCO line goes on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River.

Photo by jayceland.com
Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Photo by wherephiladelphia.com



Rotterdam

There are some nice views at the harbour and the city's interesting highrise architecture on line D around Rijnhaven and Maashaven stations.

Photo by metrobits.org



San Francisco

The elevated sections of the BART in the East Bay offer gorgeous views of the East Bay hills to the east (see picture: northbound train at Union City) and of downtown San Francisco to the west. You get a particularly good view of the city after you leave West Oakland station but before you go into the transbay tube -- it's quite impressive when it's foggy. Another BART sightseeing tidbit: if you are waiting on the platform of the elevated El Cerrito Del Norte station, you can get a good view of both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Photo by Eric Haas, world.nycsubway.org



Singapore

The MRT has elevated sections from which there are good views of the neighborhoods and the skyline.

Photo by Thomas Schunk, urbanrail.fotopic.net



Stockholm

On its way from Slussen to Gamla Stan, the T-Bana crosses the sea on a bridge, offering a nice view of the mediaeval old town with its beautiful buildings.

Photo by Robert Schwandl, tunnelbana.de
The district of Soedermalm is visible from the opposite direction.

Photo by railfaneurope.net



Sydney

Although the view is a bit impeded, the one from the Bridge looking down onto the harbour, opera house etc. is pretty cool. There's also a view of the harbour from Circular Quay station.

Photo by nycsubway.org



Tokyo

There are nice views from the Tokyo-Haneda Monorail which links Haneda airport with the city.

Photo by monorails.org
Another line with nice views is the new Waterfront line (Rinkai Line) near Tokyo Teleport.

Photo by faculty.washington.edu



Toronto

The Bloor-Danforth subway line goes underneath the handsome arch bridge spanning the Don Valley. When riding it you shoot out of a dark tunnel and out into a huge aerial vista.

Photo by Peter Ehrlich, community.webshots.com



Vancouver

There are nice views from the Skytrain Expo and Millennium Lines.

Photo by unknown photographer,


Photo by world.nycsubway.org
Another view from Skytrain Expo Line at Sky Bridge.

Photo by world.nycsubway.org



Vienna

There are views of the Danube Canal on line U4 between Friedensbruecke and Landstrasse, the Danube on line U6 between Handelskai and Floridsdorf, the Danube on line U1 between Kaisermuehlen and Kagran, the cityscape towards the south on line U6 between Gumpendorfer Straße and Längenfeldgasse.
Views of the UN headquarters near Kaisermühlen station.

Photo by metrobits.org



Washington

A couple of the United States capital's landmarks are visible from elevated sections. You can see the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument from the Yellow Line between L'Enfant Plaza and Pentagon. Best view is going towards Mount Vernon Square at the front of the train. The canopy at the Rhode Island Avenue station frames the dome of the Capitol. It has been reported that the station was built at this angle specifically for this reason.

Photo by John R. Cambron, chesapeake.net
Sometimes, you can also see the Kennedy Center and National Cathedral from the National Airport Station.

Photo by orenstransitpage.com



Yokohama

There are nice views from the new Kanazawa Seaside LRT line.

Photo by seasideline.co.jp








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