Friday, January 22, 2010

Time to Get Out of the Limo

Not long ago Sarko made the gaffe of hoping that there would one day be a TGV to Strasbourg, when there already is. Now Chantal Jouanno, secretary of state for ecology, looks forward to the day when Line 14 of the Métro will be automated, although it has been since 1998. Back to the future. Time to get out of that limo, Mme. la secrétaire d'État.

7 comments:

FrédéricLN said...

As a matter of fact, the line 14 has never been anything else than automated.

Moreover, this is a "ligne haut de gamme", designed to connect the chic Western banlieue, with the Ministry of Finance (Bercy). Without ligne 14, I guess the Ministry would never have moved from the Louvre to down there.

Mr Punch said...

This is really appalling. Here I am sitting in Boston, and I knew both of these things; in fact, I knew that one could now take the TGV to Strasbourg from Rennes without the hassle in Paris.

Alex B said...

Frederic,

I don't know whether you mean "designed" to be the operative word, but as it stands now, ligne 14 doesn't exactly go all the way to any Western banlieue -- its Western terminus is Saint Lazare.

TexExile said...

Perhaps I am too cynical, but I have always seen Line 14 as an implicit threat to the RATP unions. It says, in a nutshell, 'you can be replaced.' I have no evidence that any such thinking underlay the construction of Line 14, but I have been struck, over my seven years in Paris, by the fact that the SNCF workers strike far more often than the RATP workers...

Unknown said...

That is pretty cynical, Tex. Automated doesn't mean workerless. Somebody's still got to maintain the tracks and rolling stock, etc.

MYOS said...

Look at how many comments this article has!
http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/0101615171-si-madame-jouanno-prenait-parfois-le-metro?xtor=EPR-450206

It seems to me, in fact that SNCF does not strike that often. Most problems I've noticed are in the RER, which is RATP, and they all seem to be related to security or just plain decay - some trains look pretty shabby inside and I'm sure are just as outdated engine-wise.

Boris said...

Myos,

the RER is not all RATP, only line A is.
Line B is shared between RATP and SNCF, and lines C, D and E are all SNCF, though there is still the infamous "interconnection" when using RATP lines in some parts of Paris intra-muros. That is a large part of the problem : rivalries between the two companies. For example, it is only this year that they will be able to keep the same driver. So far, they have to switch from a SNCF driver to a RATP driver when going on beyond "gare de lyon". Also, RATP only allow one track in each direction fore line D in Chatelet, keeping a spare track for their own use (line A or C). This bottleneck causes every little delay to be reflected throughout the entire line.