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New book preserves history of transportation in Argentina - Washington DC Travel |

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A new full color book - Buenos Aires Subte - Linea A - is now available, completely capturing and transmitting the look and feel of the soon-to-be gone historic "La Brugeoise" wooden subway.

The A-line of the Buenos Aires subway system is the oldest in Latin America. Inaugurated in 1913, the line extends over 6 miles west from Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires, carrying over 300,000 passengers daily. In January 2013, city mayor Mauricio Macri shut down the line for two months to replace the original cars built in Belgium with upgraded models. This decision turned into a controversial and polemic fight between the pragmatic and romantic visions of life in Buenos Aires. Non-profit organizations, and a handful of city legislators rapidly responded to the news, trying to halt the closure of the line, without success, even pushing to have the trains legally declared part of Argentina's cultural and historical heritage. The trains were used as commuter trains by the working-class of Buenos Aires, and their maintenance involved a high-level of pride and hand-crafted expertise. The cars might yet be kept for weekend use, but it remains to be seen if romanticism can accommodate efficiency and safety.

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