Encyclopedia > Metrophile

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A metrophile is a person who has as a hobby the study of metro (subway, underground) systems.

Such people may indulge their hobbies by

  • travelling and visiting as many metro systems as they can;
  • attempting to find out about and/or visit hidden nooks and crannies of a metro system;
  • learning about the technology, architecture, and history of various metro systems;
  • collecting material related to metro systems, such as maps, plans, transfers, tickets, and the like, often from many cities around the world;
  • publicizing their metro systems (some metrophile websites contain more information about the system than the transit company's own);
  • designing expanded metro networks for various cities;
  • discussing their findings with others;
  • and in general writing, learning, teaching, photographing, and thinking about metros.

Some metrophiles even manage to attract attention, approval, help, and even employment from transit companies.

One metrophile, a mentally ill New Yorker named Darius McCollum, impersonated a range of New York City subway personnel for some time; he was so technically proficient at driving trains, helping repair crews, fixing trains, and even dealing with emergency situations, that he served with some distinction (and a certain amount of complicity from actual personnel). Unfortunately, this was quite illegal and he was repeatedly arrested and, despite a plea to have him treated for Asperger's Syndrome, was finally imprisoned. Harper's Magazine[?] published an article on him in May 2002.

See trainspotting.

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