Thursday, June 15, 2006

DC Metro vs New York Subway: Energy Perspective

New York subway cars look and sound much heavier than DC subway cars. The DC cars use lightweight plastics and aluminum, whereas the New York cars appear to use little plastic and heavy aluminum. The wheels and wheel supports in the NY subway cars are heavy duty steel, whereas the same structures are lightweight in the DC cars.

The New York trains probably use significantly more electricity per car than the DC trains. Although both cities are in precarious electricity generation situations, New York's is a bit more problematic - - NY does not have a powerplant licensing law because it expired and the state legislature has been unable to draft and approve a new law. DC subway cars actually have carpet. Of course, DC also shuts down at midnight and people are kicked out of the subway at that early hour. New York never sleeps and the subway is almost always available.

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