What did I see in the DC Metro?

We (supervenusfreak and I) went to Washington, DC, this weekend to see Christine Baranski and Harriet Harris in the Kennedy Center production of Mame (which was absolutely terrific, btw!). This morning, as we were traveling on the Metro from the hotel to Union Station, I saw out the window what looked like a car commercial! Definite if not terribly steady video of various features of a new-model automobile…

The only thing I can figure is that they had a series of stills set up along the tunnel so that the motion of the train appeared to animate them. But I have to wonder when this started. It’s ingenious, to tell the truth, and it actually took me a few seconds after we’d passed the whole thing by for it to register exactly what I’d just seen.

Is this a common advertising gimmick on the Metro (or any Metro, for that matter)? This morning was the first and only time I’ve seen such a thing, and I’ve ridden on the DC Metro multiple times in the last two years.

I think you saw what you thought you saw. I haven’t seen one of these things yet, but I’ve been reading that Metro’s phasing them in. As you guessed they’re still pictures which are made to seem animated by the motion of the train.

There was such a thing on the Montreal Metro back in the 70s.


Here’s a link:

That’s too cool…I honestly thought for a while today that I’d imagined it, because supervenusfreak missed it completely.

You saw a Zoetrope. There are two or three in the DC Metro tunnels (mostly car ads, where motion without precise detail is fine), and the train from Hoboken to NYC has one, too. I can only assume they’re rampant throughout the rest of the NYC subway.

No, they’re not. The train from Hoboken to NYC is a PATH train, and some of them have these ads. As of now, none of the MTA’s trains (NYC Subway, Long Island Rail Road, Staten Island Rail Road, and Metro-North) have this type of advertisement. Sure, the insides of the cars are filled with ads and so are the stations, but the tunnels are currently free of such.

I’ve seen one in the Chicago El (the subterranean part, of course), on the Blue Line between Grand and Clark/Lake (I think.)