[FR] Paris: VAL, Tram, Métro and Church windows (with pics)

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22 Jan 2013

I spent a few days in Paris last autumn and again this month. A little compilation of pictures taken at various location in the greater Paris region.


The CGLVAL connects the terminals and parking lots at Charles de Gaulle airport. Impression from the section between terminal 1 and parking PR. It is of type VAL.

The station at terminal 1

A peak inside terminal 1: Escalators are running in these tubes

A train of RER B with the STIF paint job at station CDG1


On the way back downtown I left the RER at Aulnay-sous-Bois Station and changed to the T4. A tram-train crossing the "Canal de l'Ourcq" near "Freinville-Sevran" station

A view along the canal


The tram T8 starts in Saint Denis. It was two branches. I opted for the shorter one heading to "Villetaneuse-Université" entschieden. This tram is on approach to its terminus "Villetaneuse"

A tram leaving for St Denis

A single track line connects "Villetaneuse" to the depot

Worth a visit: The basilica in von St. Denis

It has some great windows. As this church is the burial ground for French monarchs there a quite a number of windows showing kings

The windows behind the altar.

A have a weak spot for rosette windows


Now a jump down south. Terminus "Châtillon Montrouge" of Métro 13 is the starting point of tramway T6: This line rubber-tired tramway (or guided bus) of type Translohr.

My point of view: If they had build a "real" tram they could have put in some lawn track an create a nice green space, instead of this concrete band


The ORLYVAL connects the terminals at Orly airport. Additionally, it offer a link to station "Antony" of RER B. A train in front of terminal Sud

The section between the terminal

A view from inside a train. It will depart for terminal Ouest in a few minutes. Nice fact: At terminal Sud there are two stop: One for leaving the train and another one for boarding.

Approach to terminal Ouest. The tracks on the right run to Antony-RER-station

The ORLYVAL "in the wild" near "Rungis La Fraternelle" station of RER C

Use of ORLYVAL is free of charge between the terminal. A trip to Antony is 9,30€, the fare for downtown Paris is 12€.


A cheaper was to get to Orly: Use the T7. The line starts at terminus "Villejuive" of Métro 7. The line has a rural charm between the stops "Hélène Boucher" and "La Fraternelle".

Camera to the metal ;)


Some mixed Métro pictures. Métro 1 surrounded by the high rises at La Défense

La Défense as seen from within the Métro.

Colourful lighting at "Nation" station

The M6 from above: A view from Tour Montparnasse

The M2 above gournd (if I remember correctly at "Stalingrad" station)

As part of the "Journée du Patrimoine" (heritage days) the RATP offered behind the scene tours. I managed to grab a spot in the tour of the "métro wash" facility of M7 (most tours did not allow taking pictures, but this one did).

Cab ride through the "métro wash". Before the ride we got a detailed explanation of the cab.

The "Journée du Patrimoine" is worth a visit (at least if you speak French ;)). RATP and SNCF usually prepare some great tours. RATP requires online registration for the event. When the booking is open, it usually take less than 10 minutes to fill up all available spots. Last years program can be found at http://ratp.fr/journeesdupatrimoine/


As my RER had to stop at a red signal in front of Le Landy depot, I managed to take this picture of a Eurostar E320

The sound is amazing: A diesel engine leaves Gare de l'Est pulling the Intercité to Belfort

The new ICE class 407 looks a bit sad.

Colourful seats in a Transilien to Meaux

Mixed Impressions

Quite an eye-catcher: The "Fondation Louis Vitton". A new museum at the outskirts of Bois de Boulogne

Nice wordplay witht the Frensh word "Batiment" (=building) of construction firm in Meaux

Meaux Cathedral

The windows in the chapel of Mary show scenes from Marys life

Modern church can be worth a visit too. Two examples from greater Paris


Hidden between the high rises: The cathedral in Créteil (reachable with Métro 8, stop "Créteil - Université"). The old church from the 1960s was replaced by this building. As part of "Journée du Patrimoine" is was open a few days before its consecration. Members of the parish gave tours of the church. An elderly gentleman gave me a tour. He was proud that a German tourist dropped by to visit his church.

View from the gallery onto to altar. There is some glass in the roof which offers natural lighting

The gallery and the organ

This church is worth the relatively long metro ride.


A bit further out, but reachable by train (RER D, "Évry - Courcouronnes" station): The cathedral of Évry

Inside the round cube

This wraps up my little Paris compilation. Looking forward to your feedback.

À bientôt
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Peter Mugridge

Veteran Member
8 Apr 2010
Colourful seats in a Transilien to Meaux

Ah, that is a Z50000 - I don't usually like modern trains, but these I consider they have got everything just right and I wish they could develop a UK loading gauge version; these would be very good for a large number of suburban routes.

CC 72100

Established Member
23 Jan 2012
Charly, a superb report as always. I visited a bus depot for the Journées de patrimoine 2013 (bloody hell, has it been that long?!) but did a trip round the Metro 7 terminus at La Courneuve on a separate occasion.

I always wanted to do the RER A control room at Vincennes, but being in the office at 09:04 to reserve a place was still too late for that one!

I'll upload a few photos tomorrow.


22 Jan 2013
I visited the RER control room a few years ago. It was nice, but the control room visit for M12 was even better, because we could go into the real control room (at RER A wie were in a meeting room next door and just could look into the control room).
At M12 the controllers were so happy to explain their work and stuff, that they offered a real show for us. For instance they called a driver on the radio and asked him to trigger a "cut current" alert.

Also nice tour was of the M1 maintenance facility located in the old loop at "Porte Maillot".

Some other nice tours that are offered not just for the Journee du patrimoine but several times around the year (can be booked at: tourisme93.com)
- RATP heritage rolling stock depot at Villeneuve. The collection includes e.g. the first rubber tired metro cars, old Spraque car, Busses
- M7/7b tour: not available at the moment. I did that last year. An operations manager have an overview of M7, later two mechanics joined to answer questions. Then we moved on to the control centre and finally we boarded a metro, got a tour of the cab and could stay on the train during a shunting manoeuvre at the terminus
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