Line 1 – A crucial artery
The oldest line on the metro and the busiest too.
Opened on 19 July 1900, it originally linked Porte Maillot to Porte de Vincennes, before being extended to Château de Vincennes in 1934, Pont de Neuilly in 1937 and La Défense on 31 March 1992.
Its 16.6 km route, which comprises 25 stations, holds the record for the highest number of passengers on the Paris metro, with 213 million journeys a year now made on the line, compared to 160 million in 2006.
The most prestigious line in the Paris metro
Linking east to west, line 1 contains a number of important connection points and runs alongside some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions (Château de Vincennes, the Marais, Les Halles, the Louvre, the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, etc.), as well as venues for major events (Place de la Nation, the Paris-Bastille Opera, Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, the Grand Palais, etc.).
An essential means of transport
Linking several employment centres, the line is home to 16 of the 50 busiest stations in the network, including five of the RATP’s fifteen multimodal hubs (La Défense, Charles de Gaulle–Étoile, Châtelet, Gare de Lyon and Nation).
Thirteen of its stations allow passengers to connect with other metro lines (11 lines), the RER (A, B, C and D), the tram network (T2), buses and SNCF mainline stations (Gare de Lyon, La Défense Grande Arche).
Stretching from Puteaux to Vincennes, via Courbevoie, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris and Saint-Mandé, it serves not only Paris itself but also the neighbouring departments of Val de Marne and Hauts de Seine. 60% of the line’s passengers do not live in Paris.
The history of the Paris metro has been marked by two main phases of development. The first, from 1900 to 1935, saw the construction of the intra-city lines, while the second, from 1955-1975, witnessed the first wave of modernisation of metro equipment (centralised control room, automatic control and driving*, signalling, signal boxes) as well as the introduction of a new generation of rolling stock. The main equipment on line 1 dates back to this second period, although trains with inter-vehicle gangways have been present on the line since 1997.
The signal boxes at Porte Maillot and Château de Vincennes were built in 1964 and 1966 respectively. The centralised control room, the metro’s first, dates back to 1967, and has already been partially renovated twice. The automatic control system, installed in 1972, was one of the first in the RATP’s networks. In order to tackle the challenges of the next four decades, it was necessary to renew this equipment.
|First commissioned in 1964, it has been completely
modernised. New points and crossing were installed at Porte Maillot in November
2008, and all control systems were replaced with computerised solutions one
year later. |
This old signal box used to control train departures, stabling and de-stabling, the different routes to be followed in special circumstances, and the associated switching operations.
Highly unpredictable traffic
Its route, which takes in multiple connection points, popular areas and employment centres, makes it very sensitive to variations in demand, and it is regularly overcrowded during peak periods.
While, back in the 1980s, the expression “Métro Boulot Dodo” (Metro, Work, Bed) may have been an accurate reflection of some people’s use of the metro that is no longer the case. City lifestyles have changed, with leisure taking on greater significance. Furthermore, at all hours of the day, you are sure to find plenty of visitors travelling to and from the line’s tourist attractions, a fact which accentuates the unpredictability of the line’s traffic. This traffic is already irregular, due to frequent incidents, including intruders on the tracks, people holding the doors open at stations, and serious passenger accidents.