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The last time I saw Paris

by Ruth Slavid
The success of the High Line and the many imitators it has spawned may make us think that derelict rail
lines are a thing of the past. In fact there are still plenty, and Paris has a particularly fine example. Despite having created the Promenade Plantée well before the High Line, the city has a larger railway which has, in parts, been unused for 80 years. 
Called La Petite Ceinture (the little belt), this 32km track circling the city was a victim of the early success of the motor car, and passenger services ceased in the 1930s. Some areas of the track were used for freight, but those services all ended by the 1990s. Now it is unused but not entirely neglected, as some maintenance is still carried out. And there are plans for the future.
Many will welcome regeneration, but for photographer Pierre Folk there is a charm in this ‘intimate place where past and modernity make their acquaintance’.  Since 2011 he has been documenting the railway line, and intends to continue as it enters the next period of its evolution.

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