All aboard !…The construction of the Parisian Métro

The construction of the Parisian Métro…Photos !

Real vintage photos (3) circa 1903-1905


On the 20th April 1896, the project to construct an underground transportation system for the city of Paris began.

IMG_3547The “Opéra de Paris” is visible, with the “Café de la Paix” on the left side

Four short years later the Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (CMP) opened their first line, running east-west from Porte Maillot–Porte de Vincennes (The first line opened without ceremony on 19 July 1900, during the World’s Fair: Exposition Universelle).

IMG_3548A metro station construction


Tunnel construction under “La Seine” – Line 4 in 1905

Not long after that the CMP was joined by the Société du chemin de fer électrique souterrain Nord-Sud de Paris (Nord-Sud) and between the two companies almost all of the 10 lines first planned for Paris were built by 1920. Initially these lines served only the city of Paris (the snobby residents even went to far as to ensure the metro ran right hand side, to guarantee non-interoperability with the left hand side system in the suburbs) but in the 30’s – 50’s the suburbs were finally connected. The system expanded quickly until the First World War and the core was complete by the 1920s. Extensions into suburbs (together with Line 11) were built in the 1930s.

The network reached saturation after World War II. The Métro introduced newer trains to allow higher traffic, but further improvements have been limited by the design of the network and in particular the short distances between stations.

Today Paris’ metro is still growing and changing through constant renovations, line extensions and the conversion of lines to run driverless robotrains like those of line 14.

A symbol of the city, it is noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network is mostly underground and runs to 214 km (133 mi) in length. It has 303 stations, of which 62 facilitate transfer to another line. There are 16 lines, numbered 1 to 14 with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis. Lines are identified on maps by number and colour, and direction of travel is indicated by the destination terminus.

Paris is the second busiest metro system in Europe, after Moscow. It carries 4.5 million passengers a day, and an annual total of 1.479 billion (2009). It is one of the densest metro systems in the world, with 245 stations within 86.9 km2 (34 sq mi) of the city of Paris. Châtelet – Les Halles, with 5 Métro lines and three RER commuter rail lines, is the world’s largest metro (subway) station.

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