Monday, September 28, 2009

RATP 60 year anniversary


We Parisians, are pretty proud of our public transports even though we complain when some lines are overcrowded or on strike... At the moment the RATP (Régie autonome des transports parisiens), that is the Paris public transport company, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. On this occasion they brought back to life a few old buses and Metro trains. The one in the photo is a bus from the late forties, when you could still jump on the back while the bus was still moving... Have a look at the cool site they made to celebrate the event. Make sure you click on the central animation then play with the time line, you'll see an impressive collection of old photos.

29 comments:

  1. I love seeing the old RATP equipment! The Paris metro system is the best I've ever experienced. Great job as always Eric!

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  2. Wow -- only 60 yeeara! I would have tought much more than that, for some reason. Cool shot, Eric!

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  3. What?: yeeara? (That's because there's a HUGE water bug under my desk and my useless cats won't dispense with it!

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  4. Mass transport is just one of themany things to love in Paris! But, I do not want to ride THIS bus- looks too old! lol

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  5. Alexa- waterbug? You mean a roach with a fancy name. Worst part of living in Texas.

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  6. Gosh how old IS that? lol it's charming though.

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  7. Wren -- WAAAY bigger than your average cockroach!
    I'm surprised you didn't hear me screaming from where you are.
    Eric -- love the link. Did I recognize Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronc from les années soixante?

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  8. What a great old bus! I notice there were a lot of guys taking their cows on the buses on those days! Very nice. : )

    I love the link and the music on the link. I'm reading a history of Paris but I'm only up to 1200, so I have a ways to go to 1949. Per my book, Paris had more people in 1949 than 1999, so even tho it must have been costly, just 5 years after the war, I'm sure it seemed like a good investment for the future. How right they were!

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  9. Eric - this photo makes a great accompaniment to your photo from August 25 showing the celebration of the end of the WWII with everyone in costume!

    When I enlarged this one I noticed all kinds of things. The windows open like eyelids! And the windshield wipers only go half way down!! I sure wish I could see behind that four foot tall grill to get a peek at the engine. I bet its stupendous. I bet its got bolts the size of Alexa's waterbug and hasn't needed belts since 1949! ; )

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  10. The timeline is quite fun.

    I would love to ride on this old bus.

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  11. Alexa: so did I and probably because we assumed that the RATP started at the same time as the Metro, which is much older than 60 years.

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  12. Eric: thank you for this shot!!! I LOVE IT!!! :D First of all, I adore old cars (technically that's not a car, but it's close enough ;) and these old things bring back memories.

    I don't know if you remember that, but they were still around in the early 60's, maybe even later. You got in through the back. There was a guy on board each bus punching a number on your ticket. I think you can still see them in movies from the French New Wave era.

    As to the black & white pictures of the expo, that is pure delight. That little girl in front of the candy machine looks real familiar. ;)

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  13. I thought it would be older, too! But what a cool website, lots of fun.

    (Aside to Alexa: when I was in college, many moons ago, I tried to train my cats to eat cockroaches--don't ask, it had to do with our creepy downstairs neighbors. Anyway, Trapper really took to it. He found out how they were getting in and waited there for them: in the kitchen sink. What a good kitty!)

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  14. That's really excellent!
    I too love the link, indeed.
    These past 60 years are those my parents have lived since my father is 65 years old and my mother, a bit younger. That's always fun to see. I'll send them the link if they didn't have seen it before.

    I love the 6 last photos: the three from the left compared to the three from the right, very cool. Apparently, nothing has changed except the color in photos ;-). Apparently, only, as we know, because actually, things are really different now in France. But vegetables are still the same, going downstairs too and of course, a kiss stays a kiss... whatever the years :-)

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  15. @Alexa: I think it is Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Brialy (a famous French actor who died a couple of years ago), but not Jacques Dutronc.

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  16. @Alexa: sorry you are right !!!! Jacques Dutronc is in the 1967 photo - not the one with Serge Gainsbourg but still! good eye catch you had!!!

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  17. I love these old vehicles!! This one has a lovely jaunty look about it, like his cap's a bit crooked... Nice to see you didn't have to lie on the street for this one, Eric - not quite.

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  18. Um..........is that a cow being loaded onto the back of a bus?????

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  19. Pretty good picture and the link is interesting, Eric.
    Gare de l'est : is it this station which allows to go to Normandy? No, don't think so...

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  20. This is great! I looked at some of the photos on the site and will have to take some time to look at those some more. I love the photo of the man with the anteater, and wish I could read French!!

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  21. Love the photo, love the site, love the Metro.

    Alexa: I have one bug killer in my cat family. I spot the bug, say "Ray, get the bug" and he takes care of it for me. Eats the whole thing, not so much as a nasty leg left. I have no tips on training--bug hunting seems to be a talent he was born with.

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  22. @ anonyme: trains leave Gare del'est to Reims (Champagne!), Strasbourg, or Germany... If you want to go to Normandy, it's Gare St Lazare!

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  23. Plenty of stars, or famous people, on these pictures:
    Dutronc, Gainsbourg, Brialy, already mentioned by Alexa & Margaux.
    But also Jeanne Moreau in '57, Chagall in '68, Dali in '69, Belmondo in '73, Téléphone in '77, Besson & Lambert in '84, ...
    OK! Mostly "French-known" stars... ;-)

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  24. Margaux -- I thought so. I definitely remember the buses that you got on from the back—my preferred spot to ride even in cold weather. Wish they still had them (only w/o cows as fellow passengers of course).

    BTW, the cats are usually a good tag team: One of them catches the bug & the other one eats it. They must be slowing down in their old age (I know just how they feel).

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  25. "But also Jeanne Moreau in '57, Chagall in '68, Dali in '69, Belmondo in '73 "

    All of these are very well known (OK, maybe not Belmondo) but the others definitely are :)

    Come to think of it, I"ve never seen anyone load a cow on a bus. I wonder what the story is behind that shot? :)

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  26. Tomate "Come to think of it, I"ve never seen anyone load a cow on a bus. I wonder what the story is behind that shot? :)" IU think it was for an ad if I remember well (the ad, not the time the photo was taken, I was not born thank you very much!)

    Thib. Thanks for the little guidelines about the various gares (stations) of Paris. I think it'll be useful ;-)

    I'm glad you all enjoyed the photos in the RATP site, I love them too.

    BTW, the RATP is only 60 years old, but as Tomate pointed it out, the public transports started much earlier. In fact some services in the beginning were even operated by private companies.

    I'm just back from a weekend in Morvan (in the center of France) and instead of being "en pleine forme" I'm totally exahausted. i should not leave Paris, it's bad for my shape!!

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  27. Cats and cockroaches? Brr. I'm popping back out of here....

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  28. By the way, Janella, slap me upside the head if I'm wrong, but the man with the anteater is Salvador Dali. I'll bet he gave the Metro some cachet.

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