Sunday, 28 January 2018

A Wet Weekend In Paris

Sur Le Pont D'Avignon D'Alma
The statue of the Zouave soldier that stands on one of the piers of Pont D'Alma ...
... is one of the most photographed sites of Paris. The Zouaves Regiment participated to the Battle of the Alma (20/09/1854) during the Crimean War. The important battle ended in the victory of France, England, Piedmont and the Ottoman Empire over Russia.

Each of the bridge's four piers was adorned with a statue symbolizing a regiment that fought during the Crimean War. Auguste Arnaud (1825 to 1883) sculpted the statues of Infantry soldier and Artilleryman. Georges Diebolt (1816 to 1861) sculpted the Grenadier and the famous Zouave.

This is how the "Zouave" looked a few days ago ...
... and this rather fearful diagram explains why Parisians are worried.
The top black line is the expected height of the river this weekend, roughly equal to the flood of June 2016. If your metrification is none too smart, 6.10 metres is 20 feet! That is a big heap of water!

The fear is that the melting snow on the mountains and days of steady rail could push the river up to its 1910 level as seen from the clock tower of Gare de Lyon..
Code orange is in place with the next stage being a full-blown red emergency.

Many of the riverside paths, bicycle routes and roads are already inundated ...
   and one section of railway has been closed as a precaution. Line C of the RER (suburban network) has been closed where it runs close to the river.
No trains are running between Gare D'Austerlitz (bottom right) and Javel (lower left) and it is easy to see why. Before RER line C was inaugurated suburban lines terminated at Gare d'Orsay (now a Museum) ...
... and near the Eiffel Tower. A new link line was built to join the two "networks".

From Gare d'Austerlitz all the Way to Javel, the tracks are in a cutting or "cut and cover" tunnel. Here is the line at the east ...
... and here, an aerial view of Javel station.
If the worst happens, the water could break though cataclysmically and trap trains and passengers - hence the closure. Readers can now have fun translating the warning notice on line!
If you needed confirmation of the concerns, this picture is of the former terminus at Gare D'Orsay in the 1910 flood.
Today's Musee d'Orsay platforms are much nearer the "normal" water level.
The Metro was badly affected in 1910!
At the Eiffel Tower (Gare Champ de Mars) things were similarly damp.
Another indication of the fear factor is given by this map.
The dark blue shows flooding in 1910 at street level, the lighter colour is the "inondations des caves" i.e. cellars and many sections of Metro.

And a final cheerful thought!
The latest bulletins, however, suggest that, with an improvement in the weather, the rise in water level has slowed and will reach a manageable peak this afternoon and evening. This extract was published yesterday at about 1300.
Line C will remain closed until river levels have subsided to a safe level with engineers (and passengers!) hoping that it doesn't start raining!

Denby Dale bits and pieces etc has been postponed to tomorrow.

 Delayed bits and pieces blog : Monday 29th January 


  1. Although today's Musee d'Orsay platforms have an underground look, the track level is unchanged from steam days.

  2. Slightly nearer home, what's your mate got up his sleeve for the Jurassic Coaster X54 from 25 March as the registration appears cancelled - will First Dorset still reach Poole???

    1. This cancellation was expected, curiously at the end of the current school term. Will one of the Poole/Bournemouth operators take this on board. Currently the X54 serves Lytchett school. Another blog site has over 100 posts for the recent service cuts across Hampshire and Dorset.

    2. Not surprising as the blog is in effect the blue star enthusiasts blog

  3. X54 cancellation replaced by a new registration for a combined X54/X55. First still serving Poole. X54 hasn't done Lytchett Minster School since the Dorset contract changes last year, instead it does Purbeck School for Wool bound pupils. All will be on Traveline but as I'm starting with the 1 the X's will be next week.
    Ken Traveline Dorset