Words: Rooksana Hossenally. Images: cover, Palmyre Roigt. Slide show: Pascal Bagot.

The Petite Ceinture (PC), literally the ‘little belt’ is an abandoned railway that rings around Paris, which was used for transportation of goods between 1852 and 1934. Although disused since 1934, life on the railway continues. A playground for graffiti artists and a hiding place for social recluses, it’s a small world of its own that was off the radar for years.

Below the radar

Before the spotlight was on the PC and its abandoned stations were turned into bars like La REcyclerie in the 18th, and the Hasard Ludique in the 17th, I took a bucolic, but very urban, walk along the abandoned railway with photographer and journalist Pascal Bagot. ‘Walking the Line (part 2)’ is a snapshot of our trip along the south-eastern part of the railway. Click through for part 1 of our walk along the north-eastern part of the PC.

Life on the railway

We met Marc, who was building a small house with a glass roof, so he could “sleep closer to the stars,” we stumbled upon a small camp of tents where the residents had a fetish for plastic figures of cartoon characters, and we met the good people who ran a shelter set up inside old train carriages. Today, the railway’s changed beyond recognition. Stay tuned for Part 3.


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