Tuesday 18 November 2008

Postcard of the day No. 18

Today’s postcard is a watery image of the riverside entrance to the Gare d’Austerlitz as seen in the great Paris flood of 1910. Below is a photograph of the same view taken in August 2008. A curiosity of the Gare d’Austerlitz is the Métro platforms constructed high in the station roof. This is the place where Métro line 5 emerges from the rafters of the station roof on to a bridge (centre right in these images) before crossing the Seine on the Viaduc d’Austerlitz. The Gare d’Austerlitz is a more modest structure than Gare du Nord or Gare de l’Est with their imposing facades and it lacks the association with the Impressionist painters that distinguishes Gare St-Lazare. In recent years the range of destinations has contracted and compares unfavourably with the glamorous southbound routes out of Gare de Lyon but it remains the place to go for the overnight Trenhotel service to Barcelona and Madrid. In the future all this will change when current work to double the size of the station by 2020 is complete. Current plans are for the TGV services Sud-Est and Atlantique to be transferred to the new enlarged station.

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