Rail Photo of the Month: March 2018

MP89CC Stock 89 S 103

MP89CC Stock 89 S 103

Location: Bastille Station, Paris, France
Operator of Vehicle: Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP)
Date of Photo: March 20, 2008

I visited Paris for the first time ten years ago this month, so I thought it would be appropriate to share a photo from that trip for the March 2018 Photo of the Month.  The Paris Metro is an impressive subway system for a host of reasons.  For one thing, you are never more than a few hundred meters from the nearest metro station no matter where in the city you may find yourself.  However, what Parisian rolling stock might be known best for is that on several lines, the trains have rubber tires instead of traditional steel wheels.  The MP89CC stock shown here is one of those trains.  RATP converted three lines (1, 4, and 11) to use rubber tires in the 1950s and 1960s.  There were plans to convert the entire system to use rubber tires, but the costs were prohibitive and it would have taken decades to complete the project, so the RATP opted instead to convert one additional line, Line 6, because it has long elevated stretches and the rubber tired trains are quieter than their steel wheel counterparts.  In addition, new lines such as Line 14 are built for rubber tired trains.  You can see how the wheels of the train in this photo are not like what one usually sees on trains, and that the track for this line has running boards and guide rails as opposed to steel rails.  Have you ever been on a rubber tired train, either in Paris or elsewhere?

For more photos of the MP89CC Stock, please click here