Wednesday 6 March 2024

A Peculiar Paris Pod (3)

The Lost Horizon

The novel was published in 1933 and subsequently made into a film. 

Our Lost Horizon refers to the outer terminus of the Noisy-le-Grand "Mini Metro" at the failed development named Maille Horizon. To be exact, it was M Pellerin's development that failed when his company went bust, thus removing any immediate prospect of passengers for the Mini Metro.

There is now no sign of the outer terminus.

To gain some context, here is Noisy-le-Grand railway station to the east of the hexagon of roads the surrounds the town centre "facilities" including the "Arcades" shopping centre,
The tracks emerge eastbound immediately after the station and can be viewed from a footbridge.
It would appear that the tunnel was cut and covered to facilitate the building of said central area.
Yep, definitely cut and cover.

We now move west, in our imaginary drone, passing over that hexagon of town centre ring roads.
Here, past the "backwards D" shaped block we espy the train tracks emerging once again from the central tunnel (picture below, upper left).
We have already met the "backwards D" as an example of Noisy-le-Grand's "trendy" architecture; but we didn't see the ominous monolith in the earlier picture.

It's a block of flats; not the HQ of the Noisy secret police!
So not scary, honest!

The map shows the Pod tunnel in blue ...
... and the RER tunnel in orange.
If we land the personal fbb helicopter on the road junction we can see today's set up.
It is under here that the Maille Horizon terminus was hidden. It hardly seems worth the effort for such  short Mini Metro distance but M Pellerin was nothing if not ambitious.

Before the apartment block seen above was built, this evidence of what was "down below" could be seem.
Apart from ventilation this was the right size through which to lower the pods as delivered.
We can see below the hatch as well.
In the clump of trees beyond can be seen the peak of the trapezoidal glazed roof of the terminus station building ...
... which ended up looking somewhat dilapidated and was subsequently demolished. From within it could be seen in pristine and unused marble-clad wonder.
Then later, closed and neglected but not yet filled in!
Piecing together various bits of video, it appears that the Maille Horizon station was the "depot" for the pods.
Other bits of video show visitors peering underneath the raised siding to look at the working bits. 

The pods were 100% mechanical and, below, the videoed guide explains how a little lever engages with a trackside prodder to open and close the doors.
Simple, easy to maintain and very reliable!

But, sadly it has all gone, removed and/or filled in and its remnants lost under posh pads for posh Parisians. 

Now we can only dream of a ride that once terminated at Maille Horizon. 

Our Pod swings round the gentle curve ...
... and comes to a slow crawl enabling us to exit to M Pellerin's super but never built shopping centre and business park.
One thing that pictures of the defunct outer terminus have shown is a bit more of the technology of the turn round.

We will add that to a look at the RER station terminus and see something of that area's proposed future non railway use.

Cheaper After 50 Years
From yesterdays list,  here are the things that are cheaper than they were in 1974.

GREY is the actual 1974 price
PURPLE is the price after 50 years' inflation
GREEN is today's typical price

£1.30 is for Tesco's sliced blotting paper. Wonderloaf advertised itself as "same price as ordinary bread" because it WAS ordinary bread!

Most electric and electronic equipment is now hugely cheaper than 50 years ago.

The picture from 1974 is of a Hewlett Packard Scientific calculator.

Good whisky was ludicrously expensive in 1974. Production methods account for some of today's savings!

fbb's grannie bought a colour telly a bit like the above. He visited her much more often thereafter until dad got one for home. Disgraceful - but true! If you reverse inflation, today's colour Tv would have cost £16 in 1974.

The fbbs' Fellowship meetings were preparing the "congregation" for next month which is a week after Easter. The Cost of The Cross and the way in which God prepared the Cross and Resurrection from the very beginning of the Bible are important thoughts and themes for the real Easter; much more important than fluffy bunnies or chocolate eggs.

 Next Peculiar Paris Pod blog : Thursday 7th March 

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