[ UrbanRail.Net ]     [ Europe ] [ America ] [ Asia ] [ Africa ]     [ News ] [ Books ] [ Links ]



Click on map to expand to full size 1700x1700 pixels, 116 K----  2000 © UrbanRail.Net

Metros in France


Paris, the capital of France (9 million inhabitants in Greater Paris), is one of Europe's metro flagships. After London (1863), Glasgow and Budapest (both 1896) this is the continent's fourth oldest metro system and probably the densest.


 Lines: History & Projects

The first line (ligne 1) was opened exactly in 1900 (see map above) as part of a planned six line network. At the end of 2003 Paris has 14 Métro lines and 2 branches (see full map here) that are operated as separate lines. The total length of the network is 212.5 km (168.5 km within Paris):

100 YearsL1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | L5 | L6 | L7 | L8 | L9 | L10 | L11 | L12 | L13 | L14


16.5 km - 25 stations; almost entirely underground except for Bastille station and the Seine bridge between Pont de Neuilly and Esplanade de la Défense. Line 1 will be converted to driverless operation in the near future.

19/07/1900: Porte de Vincennes - Port Maillot (8 stations of 18, the rest were opened between 06/08/1900 and 01/09/1900); 03/1934: - Château de Vincennes; 04/1937: Port Maillot (new station) - Pont de Neuilly; 04/1992: - Grande Arche de La Défense


(northern ring line, until 14/10/1907 called ligne 2 Nord) (12 km):

13/12/1900: Porte Dauphine – Charles de Gaulle Etoile; 10/1902: Charles de Gaulle Etoile – Anvers; 31/01/1903: Anvers – Rue de Bagnolet (since 1970 Alexandre Dumas); 02/04/1903: Rue de Bagnolet (Alexandre Dumas) – Nation

(12 km):

10/10/1904: Père Lachaise - Villiers; 01/1905 - Gambetta; 05/1910: - Péreire; 02/1911: - Pte. Champerret; 09/1937: - Pont de Levallois/Bécon; 02/04/1971: - Gallieni

(1.3 km):

27/11/1921: Gambetta - Porte de Lilas (part of line 3, since 1971 separate)

(10.5 km):

21/04/1908: Porte de Clignancourt – Châtelet; 10/1909: Porte d'Orleans – Raspail; 09/01/1910 Châtelet - Raspail (station Les Halles reconstructed and reopened 03/10/1977 with new RER station).

The first step of the southern extension from Porte d'Orléans to Mairie de Montrouge (0.8km, 1 station) is scheduled to be finished by 2010. Later two more stations, Verdun-Sud and Bagneux will complete the 2.7km extension.

(14.5 km):

02/06/1906: Place d'Italie – Gare d’Orléans (now Gare d’Austerlitz); 07/1906: - Place Mazas (now Quai de la Rapée); 12/1906: - Lancry (now Jacques Bonsergent); 15/11/1907 - Gare du Nord; 10/1942: - Eglise de Pantin; 25/04/1985: - Bobigny/Pablo Picasso

(southern ring line) (13.5 km), until 14/10/1907 called ligne 2 Sud; then until 1942 Étoile - Pl. d'Italie section was a part of line 5; Pl. d’Italie – Nation was a ligne 6:

02/10/1900: Étoile - Trocadéro; 11/1903: - Passy; 04/1906: - Pl. d'Italie; 03/1909: - Nation

At Étoile - Charles de Gaulle trains reverse in a loop, there is also such a loop at Nation which is only used during rush hours.

(22.5 km)

05/11/1910: Porte de la Villette – Opéra; 07/1916: - Palais Royal; 04/1926: - Pont-Marie; 02/1930: (Odéon (L10) -) Place Monge – Pl. d’Italie; 03/1930: - Pte de Choisy; 06/1930: - Pont Sully (now Sully Morland); 26/04/1931: Pont Sully (now Sully Morland) - Place Monge - Porte d'Ivry; 01/05/1945 - Mairie d'Ivry;10/1979 - Fort d'Aubervilliers; 12/1982: Maison Blanche - Le Kremlin-Bicêtre; 02/1985 - Villejuif-Louis Aragon; 06/05/1987 - La Courneuve


(3 km):

18/01/1911: Pré-St.Gervais - Louis Blanc (line 7 branch, separate line since 1967)

(22 km):

Train © Thomas Schunk13/07/1913:  (Charles Michels on today's Line 10) - La Motte Picquet Grenelle - Opéra; 06/1928: Richelieu-Drouot; 05/1931 - Porte de Charenton; 7/1937: La Motte Picquet Grenelle - Balard; 10/1942 - Charenton-Écoles; 09/1970 – Maisons-Alfort Stade; 04/1972: - Maisons-Alfort Les Juilliottes; 09/1973: - Créteil-l’Échat; 10/09/1974: - Créteil-Préfecture. At Commerce platforms are not opposite each other.

A 1.3 km surface extension is planned from Créteil-Préfecture to Créteil - Parc des Sports for 2008 (1 station).

(20 km):

08/11/1922: Exelmans - Trocadéro; 05/1923: - Saint-Augustin; 06/1923: - Chaussée d'Antin; 09/1923: Exelmans – Porte de Saint Cloud; 06/1928: Chaussée d'Antin - Richelieu-Drouot; 12/1933 - Pte. de Montreuil; 02/1934 - Pont de Sèvres; 10/1937 - Mairie de Montreuil


(12 km):

13/07/1913: La Motte Picquet Grenelle – Beaugrenelle (now Charles Michels) (as a branch of Ligne 8); 09/1913: - Porte d'Auteuil; 12/1923 (Invalides - Duroc) - Croix Rouge (closed after WWII); 1925: - Mabillon; 02/1926: - Odéon; 02/1930: - Maubert Mutualité (- Pl. d’Italie, after Place de Monge using the tracks of today's Ligne 7); 04/193: Maubert Mutualité - Jussieu; 07/1937: La Motte Picquet Grenelle - Duroc; 07/1939 - Gare d'Austerlitz; 10/1980: - Boulogne Jean Jaurès; 02/10/1981: - Boulogne Pont de St.Cloud

(6.5 km):

28/04/1935: Châtelet – Pte de Lilas; 17/02/1937: Mairie de Lilas.


(14 km):

05/11/1910: Porte de Versailles – Notre Dame de Lorette; 04/1911: - Pigalle; 10/1912: Jules-Joffrin; 08/1916: - Porte de la Chapelle; 24/03/1934 - Mairie d'Issy

Line 12 is to be extended north from Porte de La Chapelle to Mairie d'Aubervilliers via Proudhon-Gardinoux and Pont de Stains. Porte de la Chapelle - Proudhon-Gardinoux is now scheduled for 2010. The two further stations could open around 2012/13.

(21 km):

26/02/1911: St.Lazare - Porte de St.Ouen; 01/1912: La Fourche - Porte de Clichy; 12/1923 Invalides - Duroc (formerly a part of a line 10; then line 14); 01/1937: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe - Pte. de Vanves; 7/1937: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe - Duroc; 06/1952 - Carrefour Pleyel; 06/1973: Miromesnil; 02/1975: Champs-Elysées Clémanceau; 05/1976 - St. Denis-Basilique; 11/1976: - Invalides (connection with ex-line 14) and - Châtillon-Montrouge; 05/1980 Gabriel Péri Asnières-Gennevilliers; 25/05/1998 - St.Denis Université. At Liège platforms are not opposite each other at La Fourche the trains coming from St.Denis stop on a lower level.

Construction work started in February 2005 on line 13 from Asnières-Gennevilliers Gabriel Péri to Asnières-Genevilliers III (Le Luth), with an intermediate station at Asnières-Genevilliers II (name still unknown): 1.9 km, scheduled opening mid-2008. The line should later be extended to Port de Gennevilliers.


(8 km)

Finally in the 1990's Paris started to build a new metro line, the so-called METEOR (Métro Est Ouest Rapide) although from the day of inauguration (15/Oct/1998) it is called ligne 14. This line is meant to alleviate ligne 1 and RER ligne A in the central area and starts at Maison Blanche in the south, then runs parallel to ligne 1 and A between Gare de Lyon and Châtelet-les Halles and finally turns north to St. Lazare from where it will be connected to the western branch (Gabriel Péri) of ligne 13. After some years of delay the first stretch from Bibliothèque F. Mitterrand (planned as Tolbiac-Masséna) to Madeleine was finally opened in October 1998. In summer 1998 construction work for the second section to St. Lazare started, which was finished in Dec. 2003.

15/10/1998: Madeleine - Bibliothèque François Mitterrand
16/12/2003: Madeleine - St. Lazare

From autumn 2000 a southern extension is underway to Olympiades scheduled to be completed by late 2007. Later the line is planned to be extended to Maison Blanche, M7, with a possible connection to the Villejuif branch of line 7; projects of further extension to Orly Airport seem to be dropped, a tram line may be built instead)

Ligne 14 could be later extended north to Place de Clichy and La Fourche and connected to the north-western branch of ligne 13 extended to to Asnières-Gennevilliers and Port de Genevilliers or to the north-eastern branch to Saint-Denis.

Cité entrance © Joerg Kuntz Ligne 4 - Chateau Rouge © Wieger van der Slikke Gare du Nord © Thomas Schunk Gare du Nord © Thomas Schunk

Photos © Jörg Kuntz (1), Wieger van der Slikke (2) and Thomas Schunk (3,4)


After World War II actually only metro extensions outside the city limits were built (apart from St.Lazare - Invalides). In the 70's and 80's special emphasis was put on the RER System (Regional Express Network) which currently consists of five lines (A, B, C, D, E) crossing the city underground (line C only partly) and connecting formerly existing suburban rail lines. This network is operated jointly by RATP (Métro and buses) and SNCF (French National Railways). The last of these lines, which was formerly referred to as EOLE, now ligne E, opened in July 1999 between St. Lazare and Magenta. On 3 Dec 2000, a new station was opened on Line C at Bibliothèque François Mitterrand to provide transfer to Line 14. This new station replaces the former Masséna station.

RER © Thomas Schunk RER Line E © Thomas Schunk RER Line E © Thomas Schunk RER Line E  Magenta © Thomas Schunk
Photos © Thomas Schunk

<< Top of page


NEW: Christoph Groneck: METROS IN FRANKREICH / METROS IN FRANCE. Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, Rennes, Rouen & Laon. - Aug. 2006, Robert Schwandl Verlag, ISBN 3 936573 13 1 (More info)

Arnold Delaney: PARIS BY METRO. An Underground History. - 2006, 100 p., Interlink Publishing Group, ISBN 1566566460 - explains origin of all station names with several colour photos

Larry Yust: METRO. - Oct. 2004. 136 p., Gingko Press, ISBN: 1584231742 Spectacular photos of Paris metro stations

F. Descouturelle, A. Mignard, M. Rodriguez: Le Métropolitain d'Hector Guimard . - Oct. 2003, 152 p., Somogy, ISBN 2850566691

Jean-Pierre Rigouard: Le Métro de Paris. Tome 2: Les lignes complémentaires (Lignes 7 - 13). - Feb. 2003, 128 pages, Alan Sutton; Collection : memoire en images, ISBN 2842538471 (Also available here)

Jean-Pierre Rigouard: Le Métro de Paris. Tome 1: Les premières lignes.- 2002, 128 pages, Alan Sutton ISBN 2842537777 (Also available here)

Gaston Jacobs: Le métro de Paris. Un siècle de matériel roulant. - 2001, 223p. La Vie du rail , ISBN 2902808976

Gérard Rolland: Stations de métro Le dictionnaire des 366 stations. - Christine Bonneton Éditeur, Paris, 2003 (new edition). - Explains origin of station names.

Jean-Paul Carminati: Dictionnaire imaginaire des stations de métro

Clive Lamming: Paris Ferroviaire. - 2002, Parigramme, ISBN 2840962926

Clive Lamming: Paris Tram. - 2003, Parigramme, ISBN 2840961962

Jean Orselli: Les nouveaux tramways: Comment ne pas rater son tram. - 2004, Paradigme, Collection: Transports et communication, 268 p., ISBN 2868782388

Christoph Groneck: Neue Straßenbahnen in Frankreich. - 2003, 167p., Ek-Verlag, ISBN 388255844X

Plotkin, Susan L.: The Paris Metro - A Ticket to French History. - ISBN 0738852473, April 2001 (US orders)

Roland, Gérard: PARIS METRO RETRO - C. Bonneton, 2001. ISBN 2862532797
This small book (pocket sized, printed on glossy paper) is a story of the Metro at the beginning of the 20th century through old postcards (building, trains, stations, ...) with comments by the author.

Hardy, Brian: PARIS METRO HANDBOOK. - Capital Transport, new 1999 edition.

Lamming, Clive: MÉTRO INSOLITE. - Parigramme, Paris, 176 p., many photos (March 2001). ISBN 2840961903

Various: Le kiosque des noctambules, une oeuvre de Jean Michel Othoniel.
- Flohic, Dec. 2000, ISBN 2842341082, 80 pages - It' s the story of the new metro entrance called "Le Kiosque des Noctambules" at station Palais-Royal.

Chansons Metropolitains. (CD) - 48 songs from 1900-2000 related with the Métro (leaflet included). Feb. 2001

Jean Tricoire: Un Siècle de Métro en 14 Lignes - Best book on Paris Metro

Jean Tricoire: Le métro de Paris: 1899-1911 : images de la construction

Game/Michaud: Métro histoires illustrees des stations

Je travaillais dans le métro...

Satoshi Kako: Les travaux du métro

Sheila Hallsted-Baumert, a.o.: Métro-cité : le chemin de fer métropolitain à la conquête de Paris, 1871-1945

Jean-Claude Demory: Le métro de chez nous

Le métro a cent ans - agenda 2000

Berton, Claude and Alexandre Ossadzow: FULGENCE BIENVENÜE et la construction du Métropolitain de Paris. - Presses de l'école nationale des Ponts et chaussées, Paris, 1998.

Bruno Latour: ARAMIS ou l'amour des techniques. - La Decouverte (Textes a l App); ISBN 2707121207. Explains a former MATRA project of a small automatic metro tested in Paris in the 1980's.


<< Top of page

More Metro Books >>


© Aleksander Pawlak © Aleksander Pawlak © Aleksander Pawlak

These photos courtesy of © Aleksander Pawlak

 Practical Info


5:30 - 1:00 every few minutes

- FARES given here are for zones 1 and 2 which covers the entire metro network (2006 in Euro):

Single ticket - 1.40 (no free transfer between bus and métro)

10 trips - 10.70 (no free transfer between bus and métro)

Mobilis (Day Ticket) - 5.40

Carte Orange (Season ticket) weekly - 15.70, monthly 51.50

All tickets are valid on city buses, métro and RER within these zones.

A tourist pass Paris Visite is available for 3, 5 or 8 zones and includes special services and discounts for some attractions.

<< Top of page


Official RATP site

Paris Metro Extension Projects

STP - Syndicat des Transports Parisiens - contains info on new metro extensions

AMATUIR.org (Association pour le Musée des Transports Urbains, Interurbains et Ruraux) incl. large metrpo history section

Paris Metro Pages by Joep van de Sanden

A Railfan's Guide to the Paris Métro by David Pierman

Paris Pages: Métro / RER /Bus in English

Le Métro Parisien by Song Phanekham

A nice story on the Paris Metro

Chatelet © Stefan Marquis/MTP Network John Rowland's Paris Metro Frequency Page

Closed Metro stations in Paris

Paris Metro Pictures on Railfan Europe

Le site perso du Métro

MétroPole, le site des transports publics de l'agglomération parisienne by Jean-François Dancre

Metrorama Photos panoramiques du métro de Paris

PlanètePixel - incl. great panoramic metro station photos

Navily - by Jean-Christophe Pagès

<< Top of page

This picture © Stefan Marquis/MTP Network


Train © Thomas Schunk

See the complete UrbanRail.Net Paris Métro Map!

Thanks to Alex Riabov, Jean Liou and Jordi Serradell!

<< Top of page

2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.



[Hide Window]
This page is an archived page courtesy of the geocities archive project 
Report this page