Presenter: Michael Bunn
For our final indoor meeting of the season we crossed the English Channel, to explore the French capital. Michael put together a superb presentation, beginning by outlining the population and geography of the area, merged with a touch of historical relevance.The Paris rail history began in 1837 with the building of Gare St Lazare to serve the line to Saint-Germain and, subsequently, the routes to the coastal ports. We enjoyed many magnificent views, past and present, of Paris stations and the lines they serve, remembering Gare St Lazare is still second only to Gare Du Norde as Paris busiest. Many notable events were well covered, including the orbital lines around Paris, the development through the 1960s/70s of the RER express routes from the City Centre to the suburbs, quickly followed by the development of the TGV network. Views of relevant rolling stock and locomotives were included in addition to the stations.The Metro was fully covered, opened at the turn of the last century and electrically operated from its inception. Fascinating facts abounded, including the underground detours around The Arc de Triomphe and the first rubber tyre rolling stock trials in 1951.In conclusion we were brought right up to date with a selection of modern images from around the capital.Such a brief report falls short of bringing justice to what was a superbly constructed visual presentation, further enhanced by an immaculate accompanying commentary from Michael, full of wonderful facts and anecdotes. A presentation that comes highly recommended.