Thursday, 7 May 2015

RER, As Easy as A, B, and E for fbb

Crossrail Constructors, eat your heart out!
Paris has got 5.

 RER ligne A 
The first limited-stop cross city line (in tunnel) had its origins in two bits. In 1969 the line from Vincennes terminated at a new station at Nation (east of the centre). In the following year trains ran from Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) to La Défense in the west. They were finally joined in 1977 and give the letter "A", and progessively developing unto the present east-west network (click on diagram to enlarge)..

 RER ligne B 
On the same date as A was joined in happy matrimony, a second line entered the subterranean station at Châtelet bringing some of the south eastern suburban lines into the scheme. In 1981 the line was extended to Gare du North and linked with branches to the north east.

 RER ligne C 
In 1979 a line was opened in cutting and cut-and-cover tunnel along the left bnk of the Seine. The Trasnsversale Rive Gauche was renamed line C in 1980. The network is complex and wiggles south west and northwest of the city. By way of introduction just accept that the line is on the river bank opposite and south of the Cathédrale de Notre Dame with a station at St-Michel..
Here is one of the cuttings just before St Michel with the river upper right.

 RER ligne D 
In 1987 some suburban trains from the north were extended to terminate at Châtelet but it was 1995 before the line was extended south and became the D of today.
Well it all makes sense if you try hard!

 RER ligne E 
In 1999 this project began (then named Éole) to bring more traffic from the east unto the centre and relieve the busy line A. Passing close by the Gare du Nord, the line currently terminates at St Lazare. Work is in progress to extend westwards and incorporate one branch of line A.

Originally Plan Wednesday was for an extensive investigation of some of the RER lines, but fatigue on days 1 and 2 propelled fbb and pal into a less geographically demanding trip. But the new easier schedule was to include two more tram lines.
So, Métro 6 to Place d'Italie and 7 south to Villejuif  brought your blogger to Tram 7, not yet marked on the on-line map. 
It is different again from lines visited previously as it runs almost exclusively amongst light industry and office blocks as it proceeds to the airport at Orly. How about a car parking area with perforated metal "trees" as decoration?
The wiggliness of the line can be appreciated by this poster map. The choice of brown for the T7 is ideally designed to be confused with bus 131!
Orly Airport is vast and totally incomprehnsible but signs at the Tram 7 stop ...
... direct the intrepid explorers into the airport complex via a spooky moving walkway (Trav-o-lator in London Underround-ese.)
But there were no signs to the fbb chosen next leg, namely "Orlyval". Fearful of ending up on a plane to Madagascar by mistake, fbb tiptoed warily round empty and surreal corridors, followed obediently by chum David. Eventually "Orlyval" materialised.
This completely automatic "mini" tram whizzes from south to the west terminal where it reverses out and off to the RER line B at Anthony.
From here, the travelling twosome boarded train EPAF79 ...
... whatever that might mean. But where would it take them? How far would they travel. They would leave Antony's magnificence ...
... and arrive here.
Where and why?

All will be revealed tomorrow.

Isn't there some sort of election in the UK today? fbb does wonder whether Prime Minister Camillilegg-Sturage will be in "power" when fbb returns to home base?

 Next Paris RER blog : Friday 8th May            

1 comment:

  1. I wish there was a "like" button for these posts. Anyway, very interesting, and I boggle at the thought of not only doing these trips, but writing it all up afterwards. Thanks.