La Petite Ceinture, Paris

 “La Petite Ceinture”, is an old, disused railway line, which in the late 19th century and the early 20th century more or less encircled central Paris and basically constitutes the forerunner of the  parisien Metro. Bits of “La Petite Ceinture” can be found in the 12th to the 20th arrondissements and there are several access points some of which are more official than others. “La Petite Ceinture” was built between 1852 and 1869 under the rule of emperor Napoleon III, by Baron Haussmann, the infulential city planner, and stretches for 32 km around Paris. Originally built to transport material goods from depot yards to central Paris it was opened in 1862 for passenger services as well. At the height of its activity, there were steam trains charging in each direction six times per hour. The decline of “La Petite Ceinture” started with the construction of the Paris Metro in 1900. As a result, the passenger service stopped in 1934. At the end of the 70s, with the disappearance of the slaughterhouses of Vaugirard, the Cattle station of La Villette and the relocation of the Citroen factories, the freight traffic fell drastically as well and “La Petite Ceinture” stopped to operate.