Thursday, September 08, 2005

Metro Line 14

There are 14 Metro lines in Paris and quite logically line 14 is the latest one (it was built between 1993 and1998). It goes from Gare Saint-Lazare to Biblitothèque François Mitterrand and I do love it! It's a 100% automated line (no driver) and there is no direct access to the tracks - there is a glass partition along the platform - so no risk of falling or suicide... And as you can see, there is a free circulation between cars which is much better security wise. Not everything works well in Paris but public transportation is really good.


  1. Superbe photo! L'ambiance est bien présente, le contour noir renforce la scène pleine de justesse.
    Chapeau bas pour ce jolie coup d'oeil et ce cadrage!

  2. The metro line in Paris is where we came up with our daughter's name. We were in Paris for a week in 1998 and my husaband saw the metro stop named St. Madeleine. We never made it upstairs to see the church but we fell in love with the name! I am sure she wishes we picked a name with fewer letters! Do you have any pictures of St. Madeleine's church?

    thanks for the great photos!

  3. I agree with Jimmy that this is a great shot. I have never seen this particular metro line, but will try to ride it next summer. I fell in love with the Paris metro the first time I remember ever visiting Paris, I was probably 7 years old or so. My godmother, who was a hard-core Parisian (born and raised on the Ile-St.Louis), knew the metro inside out, she was just amazing navigating through it.

    I also had one of the scariest moments of my life in the Paris metro. When I was maybe 19, a guy started following me and, even though he never talked to me, I knew what he was up to. It was not at night, but in the middle of the day, and I had no clue what to do. At one station, I just exited the metro at the very last minute, leaving him behind... It was a little weird, let's put it that way.

  4. Does RATP still run the old Sprague-Thomson train once in a while? They use to do it on one particular line. That would be great to have a shot of these in action.

    For those interested, there is a special event once a year, where you can spend the night in the metro and discover the closed metro stations, the garages, and other hidden tunnels.


  5. I didn't know a such line (no driver) could exist. I had not taken the 14th line when I went in Paris.

    Je ne savais pas qu'une telle ligne (sans conducteur) pouvait exister. Quand j'ai été à Paris, je n'ai pas empruntée la ligne 14.

  6. Dans le métro à Paris, on se demande toujours qui est la personne en face de nous, on essaie de lui imaginer une vie, une histoire, on se demande d'où elle vient, où elle va... J'aime le métro pour cela, c'est une boîte à voyage.

  7. Ah, le Metro Parisien... Quelqu'un d'autre que moi se souvient-il encore des poinçonneurs assis a l'entree des quais? La chanson de Gainsbourg (?) me revient a l'esprit maintenant: "des p'tits trous, des p'tits trous, encore des p'tits trous!"

    Superb photograph, Eric, thank you! I love this blog!

  8. Tomate - I remember an experiment they had done on TV, I think this was in the late 60's or early 70's, concerning that song, whose premice is that the "poinçonneur des Lilas" is the guy "qu'on croise et qu'on n' regarde pas" (whom on passes by without looking at him). They had put the famous TV sports announcer Roger Couderc as "poinçonneur" at a metro station (might have been the one in the song), to see if anyone would recognize him. 99% of those who stopped by did not recognize him.

    Meduz' - France is actually on the cutting edge of railroad transportation technology. Lille (my hometown) has a subway system that is entirely driverless.

  9. Gee I had no idea a photo of the Metro would please that many people!

    Thanx Jimmy, coming from you I really take this as a compliment!

    I love your story Sarah... I did not take any photo of the Madeleine Church... Yet!

    Elisabeth, I did not know Lille had a driverless Metro!?

    Meduz. It's the one one. Soon we're going to have a Streetcar too but I don't think it'll be driverless.

    Kad, you are a dreamer! (fascinating blog abouy Rennes you have.)

    Tomate, voyons, meme les p'tits jeunes connaissent le Poinconneur des Lilas!! Love this song BTW!

  10. Outstanding photograph. I love how the side of the train acts as a frame.

  11. Eric, chapeau. Love this photo, and all the comments. I fell in love with the Metro during my few weeks in Paris - and as kad says so beautifully, it really is une boite a voyage. Who needs to read the paper or listen to their iPod when you have dozens of scenarios and stories to imagine.

    Elisabeth, what an interesting experiment, and what a result.

    Eric, I had the amazing fortune of seeing Jane Birkin in her Arabesque concert in June (here, in Sydney). The last song she sings is La Javanaise (an incredible a capello version). She told the story of how at one of the concerts at the beginning she forget the first lines, and she ran off stage, and asked a fireman enjoying a cigarette backstage, who helped her out. Voila I found the story online: Such is the magic of Gainsbourg...

  12. Well, I have to put a plug in for the company that builds most of the Paris metros (and high speed trains). If I didn't, I'd be letting down my motivation for going to work each day. ALSTOM is the company and you can find out more about the train business, including the new Pendolino train that tilts at:

    Hope you don't mind Eric!

  13. very nice picture. and for having used it, i can concur that this metro line is essentially perfect.

  14. You probably missed lines 3bis and 7bis that gives 16 lines to Paris's Metro ;)

    3bis is the smallest one with only 4 stations..

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