The sun begins to set on the MF 67-F on Line 5 of the Paris Metro

Greetings everyone,

As the sun begins to set on this wonderful Sunday evening, I would like to take a moment to mention that the rolling stock transition on the Paris Metro Line 5 is nearly complete.

Line 5 has had a couple changes in its rolling stock ever since it opened in 1906, with the very first stock trains being the Sprague-Thomson. The Sprague circulated on Line 5 for many years, initially in 3-car sets but then increasing to 4-car trains as the line expanded. In the 1970s, the MF 67-D and E series trains, comprising of 5 cars, began to appear on Line 5, gradually replacing the aging Sprague trains.

The retirement of the Sprague was practically complete as of 1982, until a flooding event at station Église de Pantin occurred on June 7, 1982, forcing several MF 67 trains out of service and the remaining Sprague trains from Line 9 to be rerouted to Line 5. The Sprague was finally pulled from service permanently on April 16, 1983. During this time, many of the MF 67-D and E series trains were gradually being moved over to other lines in favor of the newer MF 67-F series trains from Line 7.

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March = Mairie de Montrouge

L4-9

 

Greetings everyone!

 

We are less than three weeks away from another milestone on the Paris Metro system, the grand opening of station Mairie de Montrouge on Line 4!

Line 4 is the second busiest line on the Paris subway and is my all-time favorite Paris subway line. It currently connects the northern fringe of Paris at Clignancourt to the southern fringe at Porte d’Orleans. After March 22 though, it will extend into the suburbs of Montrouge, and by 2020, the suburbs of Bagneux. Further plans have the line extending northward into the suburbs of Saint Ouen. I will have a more detailed post on Line 4’s history and routing (similar to that of my post on Line 12) later this month.

Currently, the extension to Montrouge is set to open Saturday, March 23rd, 2013. The segment of Line 4 south of Gare Montparnasse will close this weekend, starting March 9th, to facilitate final testing and preparation for the station’s opening. Shuttle buses will provide service between Denfert-Rochereau and Porte d’Orleans. Passengers wishing to travel toward Porte d’Orleans will need transfer to Line 6 at Gare Montparnasse and travel to Denfert-Rocherau, where the buses will pick up passengers from there.

In the meantime, please look out for my next post on Line 4 regarding the eventual automation of the line. There has been much speculation for quite some time that Line 4 will be automated next. However, costs have indefinitely delayed this project from occurring anytime soon. Will it ever become a reality? Quite possibly. I will be discussing some possible scenarios in the upcoming post.

If you live in the US, don’t forget set your clocks ahead this Saturday!

For those of you who reside in the US, you know what I’m talking about. It’s Daylight Savings Time beginning Sunday morning, March 10, at 2am. Please be sure to set your clocks ahead by one hour Saturday night.

 

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

Ventra to roll into Chicago

Greetings everyone!

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, the Chicago CTA will be introducing a radically new method of transit fare payment. This new payment system is called Ventra, which will heavily emphasize the use of contactless payment cards to speed up boarding of buses and trains, help improve efficiency throughout the entire CTA system, and modernize fare payment for the 21st Century.

What is this all about?

Ventra is part of an effort by the City of Chicago to provide an open fare/payment structure for its transit system, the first of it’s kind in the nation. Why is this being done? Beacuase nowadays, more and more people are utilizing contactless methods of payment when going about making everyday purchases. This includes contactless credit and debit cards (which are equipped with RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, chips), as well as smartphone apps that allow people to make purchases without having to make a single card swipe. For a while now, the major credit card companies have had contactless payment systems and cards to allow people to simply hover their card over the contactless interface that is equipped on credit card terminals to make a purchase at various businesses. One example of this is Express Pay, provided by American Express. Yes, I did mention smartphones. Many people now use smartphones to make purchases as well, including the use of QR readers, so that they don’t have to dig out their wallets for change or even their credit or debit card. Instead, people simply take a photo of a special code box that contains (a lot of) data and vola! Purchase made! In addition, many major banks are adopting contactless methods as well, including various smartphone apps, to make life easier.

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