The Petite Ceinture de Paris (Walking on the train tracks)

The Petite Ceinture de Paris (Walking on the train tracks)

La Petite Ceinture Paris is among the greatest stored secrets and techniques in Paris. In the event you love exploring the hidden gems of Paris and the romance of abandonment, these deserted prepare stations and railways within the coronary heart of Paris are for you.

Somewhat historical past

The Petite Ceinture Paris was a 32 km railway line that circled Paris, developed between 1852 and 1869. Initially constructed to move items from depots to the center of Paris, the Chemin de Fer Petite Ceinture is since 1862 a service for passengers. On the top of its exercise, there have been steam trains which loaded in every course six occasions an hour.

The decline of La Petite Ceinture started with the development of the Paris metro in 1900. Consequently, passenger service stopped in 1934, when the metro reached maturity. On the finish of the Seventies, with the disappearance of the Vaugirard slaughterhouses, the La Villette cattle station and the relocation of the Citroën factories, freight site visitors fell drastically and La Petite Ceinture got here to a halt.

The entry factors to the small belt

At present, solely 4 small sections of deserted railway tracks are remodeled into inexperienced areas and open to the general public in Paris 12, Paris 13, Paris 15 and Paris 16. This text is the results of totally different daytime strolling expeditions on the railway tracks to discover these public areas and the backyards of the town of sunshine.

Petite Ceinture Map /Plan Petite Ceinture Paris belt (inexperienced line)

Sadly, it isn’t doable to stroll on the prepare tracks with out interruption. Certainly, some kilometers to the west are reused by RER trains and a few tunnels are sealed. To do the tour offered under, we’ll mix bike rides with walks on the prepare tracks.


Entry to the Petite Ceinture Paris 12: 21 rue Rottembourg, 75012 Paris; Mr. Michel Bizot, L 8; Velib Station #12.010.

This quick part (200 meters) has been developed to accommodate a typical backyard and a nature path. Alongside the character path, we are able to uncover the organic range of the town: meadows, copses and afforestation.

This part of the twelfth arrondissement is related to the Coulée Verte Paris. In the event you’re within the space, do not miss the prospect to discover this inexperienced promenade!


Entry Petite Ceinture Paris 13: 60 rue Damesme, 75013 Paris; Mr. White Home, L 7; Velib station #13.110.

This part, situated between Charles-Trenet and Moulin-de-la-Pointe parks, solely opened in January 2016, making it a complete new sight for Parisians. Alongside 500 meters, these deserted railway traces are the widespread thread of an uncommon panorama shaped by natural world typical of business wastelands. As well as, there’s a chill-out space with meadows and lounge chairs which ought to host reveals or occasions within the close to future.


Entry Petite Ceinture Paris 15: reverse 99 rue Olivier de Serres, 75015 Paris; Mr. Porte de Versailles, L12; Velib station #15.111.

Within the fifteenth arrondissement of Paris, the Petite Ceinture served the Citroën factories (Parc André Citroën as we speak) and the slaughterhouses of Vaugirard (Parc Georges Brassens). On this stage, the outdated railway line has by no means been delayed. As well as, the event carried out by the City Corridor consisted in preserving the historic installations whereas preserving the natural world (greater than 220 species of vegetation and animals) put in spontaneously on the location.

Alongside the 1.3 km stroll, one can see an deserted prepare station, a couple of picket cabins and some prepare indicators. La Petite Ceinture can be a playground for graffiti artists. Any flat floor is totally coated with coloured paints. Lastly, info panels situated right here and there assist us to higher admire the prevailing flora: meadows, coppice, coppice, wasteland and afforestation.

In the event you can solely do a part of these deserted prepare tracks, we propose La Petite Ceinture Paris 15.


Entry to the Petite Ceinture Paris 16: 36 Boulevard de Beauséjour, 75016 Paris; Mr. Ranelagh, L9; Velib station #16.021.

This 1.2 km part connects Porte d’Auteuil to La Muette. Postponed in 1993 and fully deserted, it was rapidly colonized by wild nature which makes it a formidable “ecological hall” for vegetation and animals.

This stroll is especially nice in summer season and possibly essentially the most attention-grabbing for nature lovers. Take the time to learn the data panels on the unbelievable range of this ecosystem: meadows, wetlands, limestone slopes, afforestation.

Though the Petite Ceinture Paris 16 is a pleasant part to see, I by no means had the sensation of exploring deserted prepare tracks whereas strolling on this part as a result of there are not any extra unique rails or installations. . To me, it regarded like a wonderful little forest.

Small belt Paris in Paris 18

Again to our bikes, we go away Paris 16 course Paris 18. On the best way, we are able to see one other part of the Petite Ceinture de Paris, alongside the rue Navier (Paris 17). On this avenue, there’s an deserted prepare station but additionally underground platforms delimited by huge posts and some tunnels. Every little thing right here is roofed in obscure graffiti. The entire thing is spooky and just a little disturbing. We could not discover an entry level to descend on the rails however I am unsure I want to discover this half extra intently!

Small belt Paris 18: Lunch on the recyclerie Paris

We attain Porte de Clignancourt (Paris 18) at lunchtime. That is the place the outdated Ornano station is situated, which after years of abandonment has been transformed into a really recent neighborhood house however with out shedding the sensation of an “outdated station”. La REcyclerie Paris (83 boulevard Ornano) is a form of canteen / restaurant however it’s also an city farm, a cultural house and a DIY workshop. In the intervening time we’re solely considering their meals and we order their beneficiant brunch (there’s additionally a vegetarian possibility).

One of many former platforms of the station belongs to the REcyclerie Paris. That is the place we discover the city farm, a small backyard and a terrace. On the alternative platform, there’s a widespread backyard managed by a neighborhood affiliation. Sadly, entry to the railway tracks on this part is simply open on uncommon events, often throughout festivals or nature-related occasions.


Entry (unofficial): rue André Danjon; Mr. Ourcq, L5; Velib station #19.016.

The fence alongside rue André Danjon could be opened or climbed at sure factors. This isn’t an official part and we’re not imagined to be right here. However pssst, this half is tremendous cool! Additionally, on this part we’re in Paris, off the overwhelmed monitor, strolling the prepare tracks and having fun with a little bit of avenue artwork and a little bit of nature. We will even stroll above the Canal de la Villette and luxuriate in this area from one other perspective.

Small belt Paris 19 to Paris 12

Entry (unofficial): Parc des Buttes Chaumont; Mr. Botzaris, L7 bis; Velib station #19.025.

Contained in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, simply after the bridge that crosses the rails (on the left), there’s a small downhill path. You’ll be able to attain the rails by way of a gap within the fence that follows this path.

That is essentially the most adventurous part. Additionally, it isn’t a public part however the rails you may see from the park are so tempting! Alongside this part there are three lengthy tunnels to undergo, so take a pair of fine footwear and a torch.

The primary meters of this part are very cool. After some hesitation, we resolve to stroll by way of the tunnel. The air is unusual inside, so you probably have respiration issues, keep away from going additional. We additionally do not counsel going alone.

Once we come out of the primary tunnel (1.2 km), we’re in Paris 20. There’s a cool place with avenue furnishings and avenue artwork. I am glad a bunch of youngsters have been strolling close by as a result of the tunnel was scary. A number of meters additional, we enter the second tunnel (1.3 km) which passes below the Père Lachaise cemetery!

After the second tunnel, there’s one other outdated prepare station, above avenue stage. The Gare de Charonne (1867-1934) which is as we speak a contemporary live performance corridor known as ‘La Flèche d’Or’ (102 bis rue de Bagnolet).

The railway line crosses all of Paris 20. The final deserted station on this space has some cool graffiti. As you may see from the photographs, we’re not alone. Curious locals, avenue performers and vagabonds are widespread on this neighborhood.

Lastly, we’re again in Paris 12 the place we began. We go away the world of deserted prepare stations and railways at Villa du Bel Air, completely happy to have completed the tour.

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