These days, a subway is an integral part of a city’s heritage and a key feature of the urban landscape used by passengers, but subways are also full of history and art. They reflect a city’s personality and its past and future, and are worthy of exploration, even for those not boarding a train. It’s safe to say that a great many subways have overcome their past reputation for unpleasant shadiness.
Subways revolutionized urban transport, moving people from crowded streets to efficient underground tunnels. This book has two parts: the first tells the stories of six major subways: London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Berlin, Tokyo. It describes their histories, the circumstances of their construction, and many anecdotes from what were invariably political, financial, engineering and architectural marathons. As well, deadly accidents, scarce funds and corruption set construction off the rails more often than not.
The second half of the book is a stunning photo gallery of some of the most surprising subway stations around the world. They include examples from the six systems covered historically plus stations whose architecture reflects the cities and the people that they serve, including: Szent Gellért, Budapest; Puhung, Pyongyang, North Korea; Beitucheng, Beijing; Rådhuset, Stockholm; New York City; Toledo, Naples; and Concorde Station, Paris.