The One, Paris

Probing the edges of system late one night we found her, The One. That place in the system which sets itself apart from the rest. Like NYC's City Hall or Sydney's St James, this is Paris' jewel: An abandoned section of tunnel converted into an underground facility, including a tunnel packed with the fading red and green of vintage Sprague rolling stock waiting to be moved to a museum.

The main entrance to the complex, below the streets of snotty residents more than happy to call the cops on loiterers an...

Looking towards the entrance of the complex. Paris 2009.

True to Parisian form not only was the space enjoyed for what it was, it was enjoyed for what it could provide as a party venue. The dumbest possibility was embraced and using the power already provided a huge stereo system was hauled in for the sickest party of the year. A few hours after it all kicked off nosy residents in the street above reported swarms descending upon their swank little cul de sac. Four cops arrived and discovered 200+ people partying to deafening music in an abandoned metro tunnel full of old trains. Word raced through the crowd as the four bewildered police reached the edges of the mob. The gates to the live system were flung open and 1/3 fled via the live tracks, 1/3 managed to escape via a vent shaft and the rest well, they were just too damn blazed to give a fuck.

Who's popping loli in the bowels of the metro? Wouldn't you like to know. The driver's cabin of the train on the left co...

As the graffiti on the left train alludes to, at one stage these vintage Sprague Thompson carriages were destined for a ...

Mouth of the abandoned tunnel filled with vintage Sprague Thompson rolling stock. The red cars are first class, the gree...

A red and green worm of vintage Sprague Thompson rolling stock decaying in the old tunnels below paris, locked away from...

Naturally the RATP flipped and in the weeks following the locks were changed to virtually unpickable Abloy Disc-Lock Pros and the other entrances locked, plated and welded shut. Access had lasted only a month and with total lockdown the party was over. Finally the Sprague-Thompson's can rest in peace until the day they're cleaned up and given a real home.

Paris, 2009.

The connection to the live system, now locked, plated or welded shut. Paris 2009.

You can tell it's first class by the signs that say no smoking and spitting. They're very civilised the French. Vintage ...

Lockdown. Ventilation system, paris metro 2009.

About the author

Found frigid and dying in the snow by a passing missionary at the abandoned Soviet airbase in Choir, Mongolia, little dsankt never had a chance. The Dreams Foundation granted his wish to one day travel the world, thinking he'd only last a month or so. To everyone's amazement he's still going strong. When asked for comment the foundation's treasurer would only say, "The little mongrel cunt just won't fucking die, it's costing us a fortune!"

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Gregg   4 years ago
Nice read and photos. Were you one of the people who was just too damn blazed to give a fuck?
dsankt   4 years ago
I'm not a smoker. That's a habit too dirty for me.
urbanity   4 years ago
Just brilliant... Cop ratio of 1:50 and you took to the live tracks? That first picture - you just know it's gonna lead somewhere special. Presumably these were taken post-party?
dsankt   4 years ago
Of course nobody knew how many cops had arrived so I can understand the reaction. These were taken pre party. After the party access didn't last too long, it was all locked down reasonably quickly.
snaps   4 years ago
I bet you spooged hard when you found that place. It would be interesting to know more about the more modern car on the left - I wonder if it's a prototype and therefore worth the RATP 'saving'? I guess there was no sign of the legendary Z-train there?
Titoon   4 years ago
In case you didn't see the reply before this server melted down, it's a prototype of the refurbished MF77, for line 13. Almost all of them have been completed (80% or close). You can still see the original ones on lines 7 and 8. New seats are so wide, looks like RATP anticipated some morphological changes among their customers in the coming years :)
SuspiciousMinds   4 years ago
Swarms descending upon their swank little cul de sac. You're a master in words, dsankt!
dsankt   4 years ago
Merci, j'ai mis ton link au-dessus.
dsankt   4 years ago
The plot thickens, how far back do you think this goes. Chances are he watches you sleep. Good thing you recently relocated.
Ludwig   4 years ago
Oups sorry. There's one report: video/x2nmc0_tags-la -guerre-souterraine- 1-4-by-r_music
yaz   4 years ago
I bet you're glad you went to the shops while you did. peeeering through the eyelet of the dopescope.
dsankt   4 years ago
I hooked up the modular version of the dopescope which merges voltron style with the illomoscope into a fucken illomodopescope. Love it.
cgr   4 years ago
Loving the pics from the new camera, still hoping for some cheap film goodness every once in a while though...?
dsankt   4 years ago
There will be film coming through never fear. These are quite old photos actually, taken with the 1ds.
AER   4 years ago
Hey, if I remember well this party, some of us just got out of here walking the front door. In fact, I remember getting out of there, I was in front of a 30/40 persons group. When we found out the cops were only four, it was then too late to go back underground. A shame I lost my pictures of the place though.
dsankt   4 years ago
That's shit to hear, it was a great party while it lasted.
AER   4 years ago
Yeah, that was fun. Thanks hount btw.
James   4 years ago
Just beautiful. Although since you go to the trouble of anonymising key details throughout your travelogues, you might want to blur the map in the second photograph. Took me about 45 seconds to find the location :')
dsankt   4 years ago
Thanks for the heads-up. Unfortunately knowing the location is not enough since after the party the RATP went lockdown crazy on the location. New locks on all the doors and I recall the trackside entrance getting welded. Of course given the ferocity with which the cataphiles reclaim access to the catacombs, I expect the graffiti writers who know of the place will do similarly eventually (if they haven't already).
chaussures nike shox   3 years ago
so nice , love it
shox pas cher   3 years ago
J’avoue, la photo met plus en bouche :D (moi aussi je suis revenu tiens) tu devrais retoucher les anciennes avec plus de lumieres, etc ;) les couleurs jouent sur l’appétit !
Lexis   3 years ago
When I had first arrived in Paris, I didn’t feel any different. I felt as if I was still in New York, except for the fact that everyone spoke French. But when we saw the Eiffel Tower that morning, it made me feel like I was really there, really in Paris. It wasn’t as beautiful as everyone had said, but it was definitely impressive.
Michiel Van Kets   2 years ago
If i were to discover this place, it will be my secret place, taking lots of photos and show off to others. I will make them wonder where this place is. Unique and breathtaking scenes!
Agnes   2 years ago
Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article.
Sharon Tosten   2 years ago
woowwwww !! Really I have good feeling about the undergound museum. If tunnel moved to a museum it is Awesome!!! Thank for this post.
SittingMoose Shaman   11 months ago
...frankly, I find it rather surprising that someone had actually ratted to the gendarme...about a party, of all things...being held in a subway is purely avantgarde...this IS Paris -fer cryin' out loud!
John Corral   7 months ago
Wow, I'm really sad to see this happening. I've been wanting to go to Paris for a long time because of it's rich history. Sad to see it slowly getting destroyed.
Home Putting Green   3 months ago
awesome!!! i am loving it....