Metro line 11: a line and its history

On 28 April 1935, line 11 connecting Châtelet and Porte des Lilas stations was commissioned. Let's delve into its history!

Commissioned in 1935 on the former route of the Belleville funicular, line 11 is one of the last lines to be built in the capital: it connects the centre of Paris to its northeastern neighbourhoods. Originally, the line linked Châtelet to Porte des Lilas and was extended in 1937 to Mairie des Lilas.

ligne 11

Another interesting fact: line 11 was the first to be equipped with rubber-tyred metros in 1956. Its particularly challenging terrain, with steep ramps and sharp curves, served as an ideal testing ground for this new technology, which had previously been used only on the MP51 prototype. The launch of the rubber-tyred metro on line 11 in November 1956 had a considerable impact. The new trains were popular with Parisians for their comfort, silence, speed, and features such as automatic door opening. The trains operated on the line until 1999, when they were replaced by the MP59. In 1967, line 11 was the second line to be equipped with a Centralised Control Post (PCC) and the first to benefit from automated driving.


Arts et Métiers Station, a submarine-like appearance

Commissioned in 1994 during the bicentennial ceremonies of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, this cultural design gives the station a unique atmosphere. Passengers are immersed in a copper-themed world resembling the interior of a nautilus.

arts et métiers

Comic artist and scenographer François Schuiten, with his colleague writer Benoît Peeters, designed an imaginative world where metallic station names, key-stone gears, and portholes hint at an exterior world, enabling passengers to experience a somewhat fantastical daily life.

Did you know? The station was voted the second "most beautiful metro station in the world" by Géo magazine, in 2022.

Télégraphe, the highest station in Paris

Télégraphe metro station is unique in being both a deep underground station (the tracks are 24 metres below street level) and the highest in Paris, as it is located on a hill. The track is at an altitude of 96 meters, and the street at 120 metres. The highest point of the elevated metro on line 6 for example, is "only" 44 metres high.

Did you know? 

Place des Fêtes station was originally designed as a prototype anti-aircraft and gas-proof shelter. The station was not chosen randomly: it is in a densely populated working-class neighbourhood. Air-tight doors were installed to allow the population to take refuge inside in the event of an attack. 

Another fun fact: at a depth of 27 metres, the escalator at the Place des Fêtes station has 256 steps, making it the longest escalator on the network.

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Extension to Rosny-sous-Bois

Line 11 will be extended to Rosny-sous-Bois in spring 2024. By then, six new stations will serve the five cities involved in the extension: Les Lilas, Romainville, Noisy-le-Sec, Montreuil, and Rosny-sous-Bois. Additionally, existing stations and rail systems are being modernised. Furthermore, 39 MP14 trains will join the line as part of a complete renewal of rolling stock, co-financed by IDFM and RATP. In spring 2024, this extension will allow 85,000 daily passengers to travel, therefore improving service in the Eastern Paris region. In practice, it will connect Châtelet and Rosny-Bois-Perrier stations in 25 minutes.

For more information on this project, click here.

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Ligne 11 Heritage