Metro on speed?

July 20, 2008, 11:53 AM

This is perhaps the weirdest thing I’ve heard come out of Metro’s door speakers ever:

This is Alstom 6047, which I had on the Yellow Line on the way to the Over 9000 Anon March afterparty in Crystal City. The usual WMATA door messages are being played here, but they’re at least twice as fast as usual. It makes Randi Miller sound like one of the Chipmunks rather than the serious door-chime voice that Metro was going for. And as you can tell, some of the passengers on the train were thoroughly amused by it.

The people I was riding with wondered if it’s a matter of someone tampering with the recording or what have you, but actually, I’d guess it’s just something where someone screwed up the programming somewhere in programming the chime into that particular car. I would be interested to find out how the door announcements are programmed in, and what format the audio is in. And especially since I had previously assumed that the door announcement was done across the pair, but considering that 6046 was playing the correct announcement, that might not be the case.

You know, though, I am wondering if, once these chimes have a few more years on them, whether Metro will introduce an alternate version of them on new cars and cars that go through rehab. Recall that midway through the life of the Sandy Carroll door chimes, Metro introduced an alternate version of the announcement, first on the CAF cars, and then on the Breda cars as they were rehabbed. The way the words were spoken was different, and the two-tone chime was a higher pitch, while the Rohrs and non-rehabbed Bredas kept the original version.

Web site: "Vote for Your Favorite Metro Voice", from The Washington Post from during the contest

Song: Of course, the chimes...
*ding ding* "Doors opening! Step back to allow customers to exit. When boarding, please move to the center of the car."
*dingdongdingdong* "Step back, doors closing!"
*dingdingdingding* "Step back to allow the doors to close."

Quote: By the way, a lot of people have complimented me on my imitation of the door voice. Who knows... maybe I could be the next voice of Metro when Metro next decides to update their door announcement?

Categories: WMATA