Tuesday, 26 October 2010

La Ligne de Petite Ceinture de Paris

Around the city of Paris, just within the dreaded Paris ring road, the périphérique, is an old disused tramway, La Ligne de Petite Ceinture de Paris. It is 32 kms long and was built between 1854 and 1869. Initially it was  mainly used for transporting goods, with the exception of a small section near Porte d'Auteuil to the west of Paris which transported passengers. From 1862 passenger traffic was started on other parts of  La Ceinture. At first just one train was scheduled per day, but by 1878, six trains were scheduled per hour. They would take 1h10 mins to make the tour of Paris. Gradually, however, between 1900 and 1934 the number of passengers using the Ligne de Petite Ceinture de Paris slowly declined, until traffic was completely stopped in 1934, with the exception again of the section near Porte d'Auteuil which continued running until 1985.

Nowadays the Ligne de Petite Ceinture de Paris is in most part abandoned, though sections of it have been embraced by local communities who have cleared away the rubbish and created planted gardens and allotments with picnic areas, to be enjoyed by local Parisians.

Below is a section between Rue du Ruisseau and Rue du Poteau in the 18th arrondissement that has been done up by the local community.
Just along from this part of the tramway, between Rue du Poteau and Avenue St Ouen is a more neglected section with lots of rubbish in the bushes and impressive graffiti along the walls.
The brick arches and column details are rather intricate.
At what would have been a station at Porte de St Ouen is a severed platform.  

The building that bridges the rails here is a shop selling all sorts of old tat from shopping caddies, to tins of beans, to cheap plastic toys, to screw drivers, to obscure wafer biscuits, to plates and saucepans.
I found this here for 1euro. Cheap at twice the price I say!
Here's a link with lots of information about the Paris Tramway http://www.petiteceinture.org/accueil.html
and here's a link to the Wiki page http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligne_de_Petite_Ceinture

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