Grand Ceinture (Big Belt)
Monday 25 July 2022
London 1 - Paris 13 (Part 1)
The blue line shown a railway route encircling Paris, on average 15km (10 miles) outside the city boundary. Think of the system as a sort of railway M25!
Decided upon in 1875, the Grande Ceinture opened in 1877 between Noisy-le-Sec and Villeneuve-Saint-Georges.
In 1882, the section between Noisy-le-Sec, Le Bourget and Achères was inaugurated. A station was built at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
In 1883, the section between Juvisy and Versailles was opened, then in 1886 that between Villeneuve-Saint-Georges and Massy-Palaiseau. This last section was demanded by the army.
In 1939, most of the Grande Ceinture closed to passenger traffic, which was left with only the Versailles - Massy-Palaiseau - Juvisy-sur-Orge section. The line thus became principally mercantile in traffic.
Passenger traffic between Orly and Pont-de-Rungis reopened in 1969, then that between Pont-de-Rungis and Massy-Palaiseau in 1977.
On 30 September 1979, this latter section was integrated into RER C.
Line C trains continue to Versailles and St Cyr,
... and a bit more is used for "proper" passenger services (e.g. Eurostar) which by-pass the centre of Paris.
Realistically, it always was a freight railway with passenger services being sparse over most of the "circle".
Whether the line's original investors ever got any return on their lavishly decorated share certificates ...
But we are moving to St Cyr, near Versailles, to look at a map of the line northbound.
Anyway, the section of the Grand Ceinture from St Cyr to St German-en-Laye has become Paris Tram line T13.The one thing the French are good at is "style" in public transport.
Tomorrow we will survey the route, virtually, and look at how the new line connects with existing transport.
Meanwhile That Other Tram?
On Saturday fbb went along to a "Model Exhibition" held at the Methodist Church here in sunny Seaton.
Some bloke has amassed a collection of Matchbox trams.
Back to Paris tomorrow!
Next Tram T13 blog : Tuesday 26th July