Picture of the Day: The Overgrown Railway in Paris
Seen here is the abandoned Petite Ceinture railway line (“Little Belt railway”) passing through the parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, France.
The Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a Parisian railway that, from 1852, was a circular connection between Paris’ main railroad stations within the fortified walls of the city. In a partial state of abandonment since 1934, the tracks (and some stations) still remain along much of its right-of-way. [source]
Railway enthusiasts regard the Petite Ceinture as a surviving element of a bygone era, and there are several associations whose aim is to protect the abandoned railway and its remaining stations as part of France’s national heritage.
Paris’ Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture was military in origin. A lack of protection around France’s principal cities was largely blamed for France’s defeat by the Prussian armies in the 1814-1815 wars, and rail transport (a recent invention) was held in high esteem by France’s military for its ability to quickly transport troops and material throughout the country. Paris’ future circular railway was a meeting of these ideas. [source]