Monday, May 28, 2012

El Metro Engineering

There are so many things to see in Madrid just walking around the city.  Almost all of these places involve use of some sort of engineering.  To me, the most notable engineering marvel is the subway system called The Metro.  The Metro in Madrid is extremely efficient and fast moving; qualities rarely attributed to something in Spain.  However, the Metro is somewhat of a marvel to me for other than the obvious reasons.  In fact, the thing that most impressed me about the Metro is very small yet completely ingenious.  I discovered a need for this particular piece of ingenuity when I was traveling in London prior to my trip to Spain.  When the trains get crowded in the London Underground, affectionately called the Tube, there are people left standing and crowding for space around the few available poles to hold on to.  In Spain, some engineer has come up with the most simple but effective solution to this problem.  They created a pole for people to hold on to that has three prongs.  In other words, the pole begins from the floor as one, splits into three separate poles and then comes back together at the top to form one pole again.  This design is perfect because it give the passengers three times more area to hold on to while minimizing the space it takes up.  In addition, the prongs come together at the bottom to prevent clutter on the floor and maximize space for people to stand.  Although these poles have been yet to be installed in all of the trains, I believe that these poles greatly increase the capacity and therefore efficiency of public transportation in Madrid and that other heavily populated cities like London could greatly benefit from using this technology.

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