Friday, August 12, 2005

Petite Ceinture (train line around Paris)

You are looking at an old train line called La petite ceinture (the small belt) that they started building around Paris in 1851 in order to link all train stations of that time (Batignolles, Orleans... even the meat market in La Villette!). At the beginning of the century, though, the Metro started competing so badly that they had to close it for good and replace it with a bus line called PC (for Petite Ceinture, of course!). As you can see the line is still there and part of it is still used. That is why it is closed to pedestrians. If you're interested - and speak French - pay a visit to this excellent site.


  1. Wow Eric, I love this photo! Reading your blog is way more interesting than any of the history lessons I had at school!

    Question: Is each photo you post taken on the day you post it?

  2. Too bad they're not maintaining the line anymore (weeds).

    Are you a trainspotter Eric ?

  3. Thank you Sophie! That is nice to hear!!

    As for your question, well... No, they are rarely "fresh of the day" pictures for I have a "real" job and I don't have time, daily, to wander around the city.

    They are not old pictures though; what I generally do is take several photos in a row during week-ends and publish them during the week.

    To be honest it is much more time consuming than what I thought originally! Not to mention that English is not my native language and that it makes it even harder!

    But it's great fun - and pretty rewarding too; I get to know Paris better (although I was born here) and I learn a lot of interesting stuff too - take today's photo for instance. I new of this train line, of course, but I had no idea when and why it had been built, why they closed it, etc.

    Also, I enjoy the – generally! – nice feedback I get from visitors and… my skyrocketing stats(!) - OK, my steadily increasing stats!


  4. > No Dev, I am no trainspotter and I have never been able to understand it!!

  5. I might have been a trainspotter if there were any trains around here. It's a great picture.
    I can only watch the watch corn grow :) I mean that in a good way, I find the plains/farmland beautiful. And this is coming from a person who grew up in NYC.

  6. Ah... la petite ceinture ... another childhood reminder for me!

    We used to live very near the train tracks when I was a kid, and I had been wondering which parts were still open and which were not but did not know there was a website that would answer that question.

    Thank you, for that post, Eric.

  7. Jump the fence and walk along the railroad, you will experience one of the best hike in Paris, believe me. Needless to say it is illegal, of course. If you get caught, simply say that you are looking for your cat; it always worked for me..

    Have fun.


  8. > JM. Not to mention that many entrances to the catacombs - more about those soon... - are to be found on the southern part of the line. Highky illegal, but highly fun!

  9. LOL on the "i was looking for my cat". and i bet it works all the time.

  10. I just found this 2 years later on Frogsmoke:

    More photos and history.