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

Oren’s Reading List: Paris’s New (Unofficial) Metro Map

In the article I posted yesterday, Paris’s iconic metro map is ranked as being the second most complex in the world.  I’ll admit, it certainly seems a bit overwhelming to me each time I look at it. Recently, a design studio made an attempt to improve the map by using lines 2 and 6 to make a perfect circle around central Paris, modifying angles to be at 30 and 60 degrees instead of at 45 degrees, and then filling in the rest of the lines based on these principles.  The map even includes certain attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, indicating where one should get off to reach these destinations, and can easily accommodate the future Line 15, which will be another circular Metro line around the city.  Do you prefer this design over the traditional Paris Metro map?  Read about the new (albeit unofficial) map here and decide which you prefer for yourself!

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.

Oren’s Reading List: The World’s 15 Most Complex Subway Maps

Ever look at a subway map and think to yourself “how on earth am I ever going to figure out where I’m going by using this thing?”  Recently, a group of theoretical physicists and mathematicians attempted to figure out which maps “exceed our cognitive limits.”  If you think the New York City subway map is overwhelming, the research team would agree with you.  You can read a summary of the study’s findings and see the list of the 15 most complex maps at CityLab, or you can read the entire paper (it is only 8 pages) at ScienceAdvances.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.