Sunday, 13 December 2015

Ligne de Sceaux 1946

This elegant book was published in 1946 by the Paris Métro to mark the centenary of the Ligne de Sceaux – a suburban service, one of the earliest railways in Paris, and for most of its existence, unconnected to the national network. From 1846 until 1895 the line terminated at the Place Denfert-Rochereau (below) before being extended closer to the city centre at Gare de Luxembourg. In 1937 the Paris Métro assumed ownership of the line and embarked on a programme of electrification and new station building. It would be 1977 before the line was fully integrated into the Parisian RATP network when it formed part of the new RER line B. The commemorative book only becomes interesting in the final section when describing the modernised line and illustrating new stations and infrastructure in crisp line drawings. The post-1937 stations as shown were boxy but imposing and suggest an affinity with some of Charles Holden’s London Underground designs for the southern end of the Northern Line, especially Morden. Sceaux remains one of the most salubrious and prosperous Parisian suburbs.

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