sewerfresh

Adventures in urban infrastructure, rooftops, sewers and metro tunnels. Motorbikes, travel and railgang. Get fresh and filthy. Read on...

Demolition of the Paris Metro

The Paris Metro and the service it provides are deeply intertwined into the fabric of the city. As the 4.5 million passengers who ride it every day will probably attest it's the quickest way around whether it's for work, for play or both. The metro's distinctive art-nouveau style is unmistakable and the plant like green wrought iron entrances topped with the orange orbs and Metropolitan signage designed by Hector Guimard which sprout up all over the city lead one down to the gleaming white tiled platforms to be whisked away around Paris. On my first trip to Paris I arrived into Gare du Nord and entered the dense maze that is the metro. Despite the crowds, the noise and the distinct odour of piss, I was in love. The kind of love which inspires one to risk life, limb and deportation to get up close and personal.

Ubiquitous
Running the lines super light without a tripod - just a camera and 2 lenses in a little metrosexual manbag. It's a cred prop really. Sorry officer I just slipped of the platform and lost my way in a drunken stupor. Rock the scarf for bonus points, and attempt drunken boxing for added effect. Me, I'll be hitting the legs.

The History

On 20 April 1896 the project to construct an underground transportation system for the city of Paris began. Four short years later the Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (CMP) opened their first line, running east-west from Porte Maillot–Porte de Vincennes. Not long after that the CMP was joined by the Société du chemin de fer électrique souterrain Nord-Sud de Paris (Nord-Sud) and between the two companies almost all of the 10 lines first planned for Paris were built by 1920. Initially these lines served only the city of Paris (the snobby residents even went to far as to ensure the metro ran right hand side, to guarantee non-interoperability with the left hand side system in the suburbs) but in the 30's - 50's the suburbs were finally connected. Today Paris' metro is still growing and changing through constant renovations, line extensions and the conversion of lines to run driverless robotrains like those of line 14.

On a more recent note however, sometime in October 2007 a few hours after midnight and before the first trains rolled into regular service, qx and I took our first timid steps onto the tracks of the Paris metro. With more nervousness and care than I'd like to admit we gingerly stepped down between the metal rails just off the end of a platform wondering what madness had possessed us to do so. We'd never done Metro like this before and this scary new world was full of elements we didn't understand at all. Looking at every rail critically working out which carried the power, asking ourselves so many questions: how far could the electricity arc, would that even happen, could the cameras on the platform see us, did security wait in the tunnels after hours, were there any trains after service, if so how fast did they go, did anyone live in the tunnels, would we encounter writers? We'd heard lots of stories about RATP security forgoing the usual legal punishments and simply beating up those found in the tunnels and kicking them out onto the street. We weren't packing paint but would that really make a difference?

Sweep
Picturesque section of metro on Line 4.

We took a few careful paces into the tunnel then hastily retreated to the safety of our discreet entrance and back up the ladders up to street level. Our initial forays were short and clearly we had no fucking idea what we were doing but that taste was like a dirty needle in the arm of pure adventure crack. We were hooked and craved it constantly like two dirty fiends.

Over the next few years we were enslaved like only those who grew up in a city deprived of metro could be. Week in week our we hit the tunnels, scouring our maps and coming up in the early hours smeared from head to toe in that thick black dust which never fully washes from your clothes. I would wake the morning after with that distinctive smell still hovering in my nostrils, for imbued was it into the fabric of all my clothes, my sheets and my hair. The thick slabs of scunge under our fingernails was like a badge of honour, the black tinge in the folds between thumb and index finger which never faded a symbol of dedication. The symptoms pervaded our appearance, our speech and our dreams. To us the system was an open slate ripe with possibilities. We could only oblige by beginning to dismantle it piece by piece.

The ghost stations

Before developing a deeper appreciation of the system we were drawn to the abandoned stations. Some of these seem totally abandoned and haven't been reappropriated for other uses, some have become RATP storage and others, even more rare, were never even open to the public. With time we would conquer them all.

Arsenal, Champ de Mars

The stations Arsenal and Champ de Mars are the easiest to visit as they can be reached from the topside so they're as good a place to begin as any. While situated at opposite sides of the city these two stations share a similar story. They were closed on the same day, 2nd September 1939, when the metro employees were recruited to join the war effort. After the conclusion of the war they were never reopened for general service as they're simply so close to other stations. The paris metro is one of the most dense in the world with an average distance between stations of ~500m.

f2
qx, vevlia, paris, metro, arsenal. What a mix.

Outbound
Leaving Arsenal with qx and Marshall, following the breeze.

Following these the next craving one might satiate comes in the form of those abandoned stations which require one to partake in the third rail steeplechase commonly referred to as running the tunnels. Obviously one could choose to walk instead of run but unless you're doing this well after service the luxury of a leisurely stroll is not on offer. Whilst the alcoves spread evenly along the tunnel are reasonable concealment they're not foolproof and you're not invisible to the drivers so do yourself a favour and minimise their use. Pack your running shoes and get ready to duck under signal boxes, leap over the points and generally deal with all the problems that come with running over an unforgiving mess of wooden sleepers, metal points, rocky ballast and tangled cables.

save-game
At times like these your life comes to a head and you might wonder what the fuck did I do to end up here, huddled into an alcove in a strange foreign land waiting for a gap to run a little further towards an exit.

Good form is to, as the train passes by, launch oneself from the alcove down the half meter wide gap between the third rail and the tunnel wall. This isn't the olympics so nobody expects gazelle like speed and grace, the uneven rocky metro ballast will see to that. Ideally the front runner watches ahead for trains, the last watches behind and if you've a third they can count how long you've been running for. It's also prudent to watch for electrical boxes and the like protruding from the walls which require one to duck and weave while still avoid the third rail beside your knee. Knocking oneself unconscious, falling on the juicer and being pulped will crimp your day. Faites attention! With each alcove assess the situation, consider how far it is to the next (if you're lucky enough to see the damn thing) and decide whether to stop and wait or cast those fucking dice again and keep running.

Not-so-hasty-retreat
Shortly after fleeing workers in Molitor Station, Paris Metro.

Croix-Rouge

Croix-Rouge (Red Cross) station was the original terminus for line 10 which operated for only 16 years before it, like the two aforementioned stations, closed in 1939 for the war. Similarly it was never opened again for public use. Like Arsenal, Champ de Mars and Saint Martin, Croix-Rouge can be seen from the windows of the passing train as it lies on regular service track. Using this as a guide we judged the distance we'd need to run to get the station and thinking it wasn't too far I invited my gf along for a look. She cautiously accepted which to her misfortune was totally validated when we discovered the distance was far greater than estimated. I doubt I'll ever be totally forgiven.

Croix Down

For-the-count
Doesn't count unless you have a photo of the sign ya know, chalk up another.

Red-Cross
Hit the baconifier, they'll save you. I promise. Croix Rouge stations, abandoned paris metro.

Saint Martin

Of Paris' abandoned stations Saint Martin is the largest and the most well known. It's the only abandoned station to be dual layer and to have two different lines running through it - 8 and 9. In addition to its size Saint Martin is well known for the 1940's advertisements it contains.

source - pridian.net

"Both these photos are of advertisements circa 1948, which have never been seen by the public. Note that there is no graffiti, in Paris that means one of two things: they are in a very public place and surrounded in security cameras... or they are very hard to access. In this case, they are very hard to get to...

After the war the metro advertising business was in bad shape, so during the stations brief reopening it was decided that the station would be used as a showcase for what companies could buy in the way of public advertising in the cities metro. However, the station closed soon after and the ads were never used for their intended purpose.

Both these ads are for real products, and I believe "Maizena" (a brand of corn flour) is still in production. These are examples of semi permanent type ads for which a company would pay an annual fee. They are made of hand painted ceramic tiles, which explains why they appear in such good condition after 50 years."
- courtesy of Pridian.net

Saint-Martin
Off the end of the ghost platforms of Saint Martin station. This is the largest non-passenger station in the system which isn't really abandoned since the RATP still use the offices there. Easy but watch for workers near the offices. Be foreign, feign ignorance, blame guidebook.

The stations never used

Following the entry level stations above one might begin to seek more exclusive fruits and rightfully so. Both the stations Haxo and Molitor are a different breed altogether to those mentioned above because they were never finished, never connected to the surface and never open to the public. Adding these to the haul takes a different approach as both Haxo and Molitor lie on sections of track not used by the general service. As such there's no option to peer out the window of a passing train to even catch a glimpse of what's in store if you're lucky enough to reach them. Further both lie on sections of track commonly used for storing trains. Anywhere the RATP stores trains is guaranteed is bring adventure.

Bienvenue
Now there's white chalky dust all over your black clothes you're at the doorstep of my favourite abandoned station of the Paris Metro. This here is the welcoming committee. Don't spooge yet, there's plenty to go around. Molitor station, Paris.

Haxo

Haxo sits on a piece of track named La Voie des Fêtes in the north east of Paris. No stairs or surface access was ever installed to the station, in fact only one platform was built and only part of the platform is adorned with those gleaming white tiles which Paris known for. The station is however, plastered end to end in graffiti. In compensation for the station being so empty the journey to Haxo by foot is a risky, and therefore exciting, undertaking. The Voie Navette to the south is home to layed up trains, workers and security guards with dogs; and to the norths is an awkwardly positioned station which has a history for security busts.

Haxo Fuxer

Molitor

No exploration of the Paris metro is worth mentioning with a trip to Molitor, hardest of the abandoned stations and my favourite. We'd never heard of anyone exploring Molitor and a Google image search turns up some RATP tour photos and little else. This challenge was too good to ignore.

Shortly after midnight, when the train platforms thin of commuters and the workers emerge from their holes to go about their business. There is a slight overlap between these when the last of us, the commuters, and they, the first of the workers, co-inhabit the platforms. A single worker milled around the western end of the platform, shuffling piece of equipment in and out of his work room. He turned back into his room, we leapt from the platform and ran full speed down the tunnel. We bolted straight through the alarms and quickly the flashing lights disappeard behind us.

Molitor
Ah Molitor, the most fun station in the paris metro. Almost no graffiti and guaranteed excitement every single time. Plus, they like to store rolling stock there. Paris Metro, 200?.

If you want this one, you need to work for it. Molitor has an island platform with an arched roof of gleaming white tiles. Unfortunately there's no signage but this is offset by the trains. Lots of trains. Leading south away from the station is the Voie Murat which was packed with probably another dozen - along with more cameras and more alarms. I'd neatly copied a map of the surrounding tunnels and the Voie Murat onto a small scrap of paper folded in my chest pocket. In case of capture I was to eat the paper and claim we were looking for the bathroom. The Artline pen I'd used said the ink was non-toxic but considering the rest of the night's activities I don't know why I bothered to check.

The Voie Murat is much longer than my hastily scrawled map suggests and through a dozen full length trains we snaked, dodging the cameras frequently bolted to the tunnel wall. By climbing over the couplings or walking through the trains themselves we avoided the cameras but not the dong barrier infestations which sprout up between the nose of one train and the ass of the next. Passing them isn't too difficult if you're athletically inclined. For sake of brevity one method is depicted below, discovery of other methods is left to the reader.

Hount
A two-pronged dong barrier defence system, the failures of which should be clear. Naturally if one were in a real hurry this would be a problem. Paris Metro.

With various conspirators I returned twice more to Molitor and both were nail biting experiences. The first time we encountered cleaners in the old station and spent an hour lying on the floor of a train carriage hoping the broom wielding cleaner ninjas wouldn't bust in on us.

Voiture-3054
The Voie de Murat is literally packed with trains, this was the last one in the tunnel before we flew south into the clusterfuck of lines which converge there. More trains were layed up amongst the tracks there but the cameras set the clock ticking and we needed out, asap. Paris Metro.

The second we were separated and pinned down in the approach tunnel by a late train coming in for overnight storage. The driver knew something was up as he parked, exited the train, walked towards us, paused for a while then turned around and walked quickly off the other way. While heard us running off, our unorthodox and circuitous route to the surface guaranteed that nobody would catch us before we vanished. We'll always return to places like Molitor and while the space may never change each trip will be a unique nerve racking, sack shrivelling adventure. And that's the point, n'est-ce pas?

Candy-Shop
Shortly after fleeing workers in the abandoned Molitor station, Paris Metro.

Raccord Tunnels

In addition to the stations listed above the system is full of raccords, or linking tunnels, which span between lines to enable easy movement of the rolling stock. In our travels though they seemed to be mainly used for work trains traversing the system and for storing trains after service. The raccords are extremely convenient, as like the trains, one can lay up there for a while and wait for the system to close, or simply avoid the busiest stations by working from line to line. As an added bonus they're excellent chill out spots for listening to trains moving through the major tunnels, passing every few minutes in peak hour then at increasing intervals as the service winds down. It's worth noting not to get too comfortable though, lest a lumbering work train interrupt your nap. When those lumbering diesel beasts roll past at 5km/h, covered in workers, you'll be sweating.

Raccord-Line-7

Sodome-Raccord
Raccord on ligne 6, paris Metro... again.

sans-moi
So empty. We can only imagine the horrors that broom has seen, what tortures it has witnessed.

Almost all of the raccord tunnels are small, single track affairs with dimmer lighting and less graffiti than the main lines. The movement of air pushed and pulled by the trains deposits little piles of litter in the raccords, amongst the stacks of spare materials and components often found in them. One could venture a guess there's less graffiti in them since there's no passenger service there and nobody to see the works. There are exceptions naturally and many of the raccords contain oddities unmarked on any map. Without checking them all, you'll never know.

River-Deep

Unique
The only double track raccord tunnel in the system, flanked by 2 elevated line 10 tracks.

The-Double
In addition to being the only double this raccord is also one of the longest. Raccord tracks in the middle, regular service tracks at the side. Paris Metro.

Rolling Stock

With time the tunnels become repetitive, the junctions similar and the abandoned stations seen. Cliché as it may be, eventually the metro becomes about the experience and the adventure, more a journey than a particular destination. The journey is a conflagration of uncontrollable variables which conspire to make it unpredictable and dangerous. But that's the fun of being within a live system and as they say, there's never a dull night in the metro.

Leave-only-fatcaps
Raccord tunnel where one can find access to the voie des finances.

Naturally the biggest risk is the rolling stock but like the moth and the flame it's what we grew to have the biggest hard on for. Not in an anorak way - you won't see us scribbling down carriage numbers and looking at engine specs; but in a manner of respect for these intimidating beasts which roam the system. They're unconcerned by our weak, fleshy bodies and totally indifferent to whether said body remains in one piece, or many smeared down 100m of track. It's inevitable that over the course of our adventures we'd encounter these beasts up close and personal, in fact by the end we began to seek them out as we gained the courage to venture further into their territory.

Gimme
Another night, another raccord, another train, another worker yelling at us. BOUGEZ PAS BOUGEZ PAS.

Drones
These lumbering diesel powered work trains are found in the raccord tunnels from time to time. About half the time they're stationary and deserted, the rest they'll be swaying past menacingly like a predator on route to a jobsite, passing while you're huddled into an alcove hoping the workers aren't looking.

Robotrain
Automatic line 14 stock, stored in a bastard little raccord off surprise surprise, line 14. Access is a pain from both ends but given the consequences of stopping trains on ligne quatorze, one is recommended to bypass the door at the other end and run in. Like any location which stores trains there are cameras of course, how you choose to deal with them is up to you. There are other camera looking devices which, judging from their positions and orientation, are probably used for monitoring the position of the trains passing on the line since there's no driver inside. We decided passing in front of these would be unwise.

There are regular trains, the driverless robotrains of line 14 (and soon line 1), work trains and of course, the Spragues. One night while totally unprepared for such we chanced upon a mint Sprague sitting on a platform, like it was fresh from a 1930's production line. It was a twin-car train resplendent in ravishing red and green against the sparkling backdrop of white tile. Red for the ballers in first class, green for second. The panels were shiny and true, the inside lovingly worn. The wooden second class seats were polished, the padded first class ones still springy. It's probably still sitting there waiting to be taken out for special occasions. Don't ask where it is, I can't say.

Premiere-Classe
First class carriage of a mint sprague unit, found in the Paris metro.

Deuxieme-Classe
Second class carriage of a mint sprague unit, found in the Paris metro.

Class
Mint 1960's sprague unit, found hidden in the Paris Metro. Illoscope reading off the meter.

The Risks

Naturally the activities presented here are dangerous and concern varying degrees of legality but I'll spare you the disclaimer and hypocrisy of "do as I say, not as I do" and offer a short list of situations I or my friends found ourselves in from which you can choose for yourself your own (in)actions.

  • getting caught by security and police while too drunk to function, inspired by 2 French cataphiles on shrooms
  • getting into a fist fight with coked out bunch of frenchies while midriding
  • qx dropping his keys and having them land perfectly balanced on the third rail
  • riding in the back carriage and hitting the bell button, getting yelled at by the driver then having the train stop and wait in the station while we fled
  • being 10 seconds from running headlong into a ghost train near Vavin
  • sprinting out a raccord tunnel after a robot train started up automatically just as we reached it
  • a driver in the voie des fetes telling qx and AC he was glad they weren't throwing rocks at him
  • hiding on the floor of a layed up train near molitor waiting for the cleaners walking by to leave
  • cramped into an alcove with snappel, qx doing similarly on the opposite side of the tunnel while pinned down by a late arriving train near molitor being parked by a driver who clearly knew we were there.
  • meeting workers in an old station and them being totally cool with us, then having a nap on the ground while waiting for the trains
  • jumping out from a midride as the rain pulls into station, way before it's safe to do so and almost collecting a dozen people standing on the platform who are totally shocked at this person materialising out of nowhere onto the platform and hurtling towards them
  • getting caught up between two groups of workers near a yard while trying to access a raccord tunnel
  • exiting from a tunnel onto the platform to discover security hiding and waiting for us by looking at the tv screens used by the drivers to check it's safe to close the train doors. Naturally we turned and crept away very very quickly.
  • getting caught by securitons in the tunnel and discovering they were really scared of the 3rd rail and wouldn't cross it, only go around it. Then the looks on their faces when, expecting bags of spraypaint, we opened our backpack and out came the pile of 1 series bodies and lenses.
  • Jumping up onto a platform mid service and meeting ticket inspectors, who couldn’t' give us a cheap fine since we had valid tickets and instead found something much more expensive to hit us with.
  • the police stopping beside us one night while we were trying to open a locked metro manhole with a street sweeper bristle. Then them deciding it was a catacomb manhole and asking us about the catacombs.
  • Being chased away from a tunnel into a yard by a single security guard yelling "bougez pas bougez pas!". Yeah right!
  • Running a certain camera'd and alarmed to the hilt loop track, emerging topside just in time to avoid being seen by a dog equipped secca who asked "was that you in the tunnels?", "nah mate we're just Australians getting drunk" and lifting our cans of disgusting 12% Maximator beer with a grin.

ratpwn
To be fair it's about time.

Rinsed Baby-Face Railing

The Oddities

With the risks accepted, ghost stations done, raccords run and trains encountered one begins to develop an appreciation for the oddities in the system and begins to comb it, seeking out the weird, the undocumented and unknown places. These places will always draw back those who have a stronger interest in the metro than collecting the set of abandoned stations. Here's a sample.

Really fucking weird places you find in the tunnels - NDC

It could have been the sandwich or perhaps the dainty black leather coin purse with the silver snaplock lying on the table. Certainly something here was Not Right. Turning over the cover of the faded log book, flipping a little then opening it to a page marked with a pen, scanning down rows and rows of dates and times scrawled in blue ink. Today's date was there on the very last row. Check in time - 7pm. Checkout time - blank. Nom de gardien, nom de chien. Name of guard, name of dog. Name Of Dog. We ran.

photo by qx

photo by qx

Juggling our cameras, fumbling lenses back into backpacks, slipping and sliding over the smooth concrete platform we bailed past 2 trains sleeping quietly alongside the platform. Somewhere amongst the rooms to our right a toilet flushed and we heard water surging through the pipes. We'd dodged the guard by virtue of a visit to the pissoir. We bailed past the offices, the training rooms and then off the abandoned platform, over the fence and out into the tunnels. We were safer in the tunnels, the guards don't like it in there around the third rail.

photo by snappel

Access-is-closed
Evidently they're pretty keen to keep people out of Nom de Chien. One of the hardest 'abandoned' stations of the paris metro to explore, due mainly to large gates, guards and dogs. You must ask yourself, do ja like dags? I'm not a dog person and don't usually carry pieces of steaks impregnated with rohypnol. Perhaps I should start.

The area around NDC isn't used so much, it's a little dead spot in the system. The trains pass frequently on the other lines though, their lights charging towards you then swerving away at the last minute on route to other destination. Each one brings the fear that it might be the one train to leap the tracks into the dead tunnel and bear down upon you; swaying angrily side to side in an attempt to collect anyone not flattened properly against the wall, or simple lounging in the middle of the tunnel sitting on the tracks. None ever have but the nagging feeling it still there. The air is stiller around NDC, without the constant push pull vacuum you get in the shorter raccords. Even the graffiti is mostly old, faded and coated with a thick layer of black dust. Clearly even the writers don't bother passing by.

Split
Access to nom de chien station, one of the most difficult in the system.

photo by qx

These little dead spots in the system bring true variety to exploring the metro, places you can't see passing by and looking out the window. Little pockets of temporal stasis, islands of quiet found only by those who walk le chemin de fer  ( start kung fu theme )

Enormous vent systems

SliceMeDiceMe
As their funds dwindled the institute was forced to sell off much of their equipment, and find inventive ways to reuse the remaining equipment for other purposes. The huge ventilation fans pictured, while decom'd when the tunnel was abandoned, were restarted and used to cut specimens for slide mounting, to be examined under the microscopes. Rumour has it they literally threw the bodies in one side, and the children would stand on the other and catch the thinly sliced fragments as they were shot out the back.

Vent-Fan
Lockdown. Ventilation system, paris metro 2009.

The Zébulon

This was the protype for the common MF67 stock, found on an abandoned platforms of an active station.

Layed-sprayed
Don't bother asking because here's the answer: fuck off.

Anybody-home
No I don't know where this is. We donned blindfolds and followed the metro leprechauns. GTFO.

RTFM
The manual was nowhere to be seen, the controls are labeled in cryptic french but we could get this puppy rollin.

Voie de Finance

The Voie des Finances is a short section of tunnel which was used up until 1967 to transport money collected from the other stations to a large RATP office in the east. Special trains running on a 60cm gauge track were used. This small tunnel joined the regular system on a short raccord tunnel between lines one and five.

photo by snappel

Unfortunately the VDF was mostly destroyed during the created of line 14 then locked off from the main system by metal mesh. The short section of tunnel pictured above is one of the only parts remaining. There are unfortunately no trains and of course no loot. At least not anymore. How did you think I fund these adventures?

Tunnels under the river

The small section of line 12 which passes under the Seine is an interesting one because unlike the rest of the system it's constructed of bolted together iron rings which resemble The Tube of London. Most of the metro tunnels are flat but in this section we could quite noticeably feel the gradient which would drop us low enough to pass under the river. Unlike The Tube there's a comfortable walkway on the side so the danger is much lower, except for the nosy populace getting pissed off and whinging whenever they see somebody having more fun than themselves. We snapped our pics and departed.

12
Metro line 12 under the Seine.

Line 14 tunnels

This is the driverless automated line on which opening the platform doors halts the line.

Robotrack
Line 14 tunnel which carries automated (driverless) trains, Paris.

Navigation

Treasure
A map to buried treasure, or at least where you may have found it if you'd be quicker. Voie des finances (money train!) of the paris metro.

Porte Maillot loop

Out on the western side of the metro map sits a small odd looking piece of look track, the original western terminus of line one. By 1937 Line 1 was extended west into snob ville Neuilly, then further to La Defense. The loop entrance is visible through the train windows before one's train enters Porte Maillot from the east. They're close enough for one to presume there is access between the two but on our first attempt we couldn't find it - which resulted in us bumbling laughing into an RATP train worker change room, and sprinting (laughing) back out being yelled out by an angry worker. We gave up on this plan and busted out our hurdling technique down line 1 from Argentine instead, midservice, dodging more trains than drunken party girls.

Approach
Entering the maillot loop, right hand side. This side appears to be infrequently used, the portal is often barricaded. Bronny, 40/4, velvia.

The inbound platform on the old loop has been converted into a workshop known as l'Espace Maillot. The old platform has been totally renovated including work rooms and even an inspection bit. Of course, knowing our luck a worker turned up and we had nowhere to run. We'd been caught in the Metro... again. Shortly after a work train rolled in and we were left sitting watching the efficiency of french workmanship. It was worse than watching a grandma pay with cheque at the supermarket - an entirely normal and everyday occurance at your local supermarché.

Inderdit
I'm going on the theory that exclusion of one is inclusion of the other, and that given the stairs are forbidden territory the region on the platform is not. Of course one might postulate the stairs are _more_ forbidden and we had permission to be on neither. Disused platform exit, Porte Maillot loop. Paris.

Moving and unloading one work-train of two items took almost two hours of consultation, reconsultation and more of the same. Thankfully I didn't understand most of it and took a nap. Amusingly we discovered that not all the workers knew the keypad code to the main door, so they installed a complex modern system where a plastic streamer was tied to the inside door handle, then passed out through a hole so the door could be opened from outside, by anyone who turned up and yanked the plastic. Naturally we exploited this security feature until they clued in and we were forced to open the door in broad daylight, inside the station, being passed by dozens of commuters, using a fucking stick we found in the gutter.

Cafe-le-tonic
Hook up your own tonic concoction at l'establissements millard. Original advertisement, abandoned platform of Porte Maillot loop, Paris.

General dicking about

Legit
Yeah we're legit. Tu parles anglais? Oh shit...

BJ2K8
Blowjob 2008, abandoned metro station, Paris.

Midride-rush
While the picture doesn't represent it exactly, mid-riding is best done in rush hour, so the business people crammed into their mobile sardine tins can take maximum offense, and maximum jealousy to you riding along with the wind in your hair and a smille on your face. Hate the game, player.

Le-petit-poisson-qui-pourrait
Maillot Loop, Paris.

And of course, the abandoned section of tunnel converted into an underground facility, including a tunnel packed with the fading red and green of vintage Sprague rolling stock waiting to be moved to a museum. Shortly after we found it the tunnel became the venue for the illest party of the year. You can read more about this place here.

Who-loves-loli
Who's popping loli in the bowels of the metro? Wouldn't you like to know. The driver's cabin of the train on the left contains no real controls, they're all spastaplastic. Paris Metro, 2009.

The-Worm
A red and green worm of vintage Sprague Thompson rolling stock decaying in the old tunnels below paris, locked away from the light of day until they're moved to a museum. Paris Metro 2009.

Correspondance
The connection to the live system, now locked, plated or welded shut. Paris 2009.

Ready-for-museum
As the graffiti on the left train alludes to, at one stage these vintage Sprague Thompson carriages were destined for a museum and temporarily stored in the tunnels. In the interim the writers found them and the rest is obvious. Paris 2009.

The end?

As we haven't walked every section of tunnel nor checked every door, and considering the evolving nature of the system and the city it supports there is and will always be more to see, find and experience in the metro. This is in no way a definitive list, nor even a checklist for future explorers to use in their adventures in the metro, since discovering your own places is substantially more rewarding and something we should always pursue. Counter intuitive as it may seem, the system still feel so virgin despite the thick layers of graffiti almost (:P) everywhere. Not once did we encounter others of a similar disposition to ourselves down there. Not a single graffiti writer, nor a single explorer. It's easy to believe the Metro is yours alone to explore and no doubt there is much more to be found secreted away below the streets of Paris. Pose 'em and get fucking involved.

Candy-Shop
Shortly after fleeing workers in the abandoned Molitor station, Paris Metro.

Ghosts-of-children-past
The souls of the children will haunt all those who come withing their bony reach.

Shouts first and foremost to quantum-x and marshall, the two with whom I spent the most time tucked into alcoves as the trains whistled past. Also to snappel and hount for the nights face down in the ballast, nose to the third waiting for the perfect moment. To BHV for that first piece of information which led us down onto the tracks that first stressful night. To everyone else I got dirty, stinky and downright filthy with. To the iron men of the CMP and the NS who built such an excellent system and the hard working staff of the RATP who maintain and extend it. Last of all a special shout to le-mec-sans-nom, whose hours of painstaking work opened possibilites everywhere. Your contribution to this project is forever appreciated.

ds, 2010.

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