Friday, January 27, 2012

Khazakstans Brand new Subway [Pics]

Having been on the Gautrain, I got off it feeling like we were taking a step in the right direction, towards 1st world country status. The Gautrain is far from finished, with plans to extend the line to cover all of Johannesburg. The bit that is currently running is to my eyes great, but you must niot forget that I haven't set a foot outside this country, so I have nothing to compare it to. Until today. See Khazakstan just opened their Subway system up, and now like a patron at a restaurant the meal on "that guys'" plate looks better  than what's on my plate and I'm left wondering if I ordered the right thing.

Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty, just opened its subway system for service December 1st, after 23 years of construction. Although work began in 1998 under Soviet rule, after the fall of the USSR, all construction came to a halt and was only resumed in 2005. The system itself runs 8.5 kilometers long, and is used by 30, 000 people daily, but so far most most visit the stations and ride the subway for fun (you use a casino chip-like token to enter), rather than just for transport. What’s striking is that not only do some stations resemble grandiose halls more than they do subways, but that everything is immaculate and pristine. Not one speck of dirt anywhere.

pics after the jump...

Don't get me wrong I'm not some ungrateful runt, I understand we had Word Cup pressure looming to make certain the Gautrain was up and running, but for Christ sake this is Khazakstan, a country best known for Sasha Baron Cohens, "Borat." All I'm saying is lets take our sweet time getting the job done, and do it right for the next phases of the Gautrain.

more pics avail here

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