Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday 22 December - Riding more Paris Trams

I took metro line 3 to Saint Lazare this morning and was surprised to see electric locomotive BB 17054 on a train of suburban coaches.  I thought they had all been withdrawn from Saint Lazare.
I took one of the new Z50000 trains out to La Defense
Tram T2 La Defense to Porte de Versailles
The section south of La Defense is built on an old railway right of way using concrete ties, ballast and railway rails.  The extension north to Pont de Bezon and south to the Porte de Versailles are tramway lines.  The line uses custom built trams in multiple running on the right. There are several single crossovers, mostly trailing and one at least hand operated. The line has good views across Paris towards the Eiffel tower, it runs close to the Seine and through the exclusive neighborhoods of Sevre and St. Cloud.
Tram T2 at Porte de Versailles

These trams have a distinctive nose which contains the multiple unit connections.
Trams T3a from Porte de Versailles to Porte de Vincennes and T3b from Porte de Vincennes to Porte de la Chapelle
Tram line T3 is broken into two parts. They both run in the roadway, mostly in a center grassed reservation using tramway rail.  The crossovers are nearly all single trailing, many with signals.  The trams used appear to be identical although they are maintained in two separate garages at Pont du Garigliano and Porte de Pantin.  The two sections are separated by a wide highway at Porte de Vincennes and through travelers have to use a subway which also gives on to metro line 1.  There is a double track connection between the two sides but this does not seem to be used for public trains.

Towards the end of the run the line runs through Rosa Parks a former industrial area which contained some railway sidings. It was pretty bare when the line opened a few years ago but there has been extensive development of housing and shops which is bringing the area alive.
Tram T3a having just arrived at Porte de Vincennes

Tram T3b at Porte de la Chapelle
Work is actively under way to extend T3b westwards to Porte de Clignancourt and Porte de Clichy which involves considerable road realignment.

From Porte de la Chapelle I took the metro back the Saint Lazare where the holiday rush was fully under way. The next two main line trains out (to Cherbourg and Le Havre) were fully reserved,

The Tarte au Citron from Diva et Chocolat is excellent.  It is very lemony and not as sweet as many.

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