24 July 2013

A view from a train

At mid-day today, I'll be looking out the window of a train. Here are some things you see as you ride the train from Blois to Paris and back.

Many little train stations like this one at Villeneuve-le-Roi in the far Paris suburbs

Grain elevators/silos as you ride along the edge of the wheat-growing Beauce region

Gigantic wind turbines towering over villages and hamlets

Farmers' cooperatives all along the line

Big early-morning crowds at the Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris...

...but not very many people on the train

This is the train line on which there was a derailment about 10 days ago. I believe the SNCF (the French national railways) has carefully inspected all the track between Paris and Blois by now. I sure hope so.


  1. Have a pleasant trip. There are some clouds, but it doesn't look bad. Keeping my fingers crossed. See you later.

  2. Same scenario as last time, CHM. I'll eat lunch on the train and arrive chez toi vers 14 h30. A tout à l'heure -- or toodle-oo as we say.

  3. the grain silos remind me of the midwest; the small train station reminds me of some of same architecture of the stations in the east.

    plus ca change, la plus se meme chose.

  4. toodle-oo... derived from "A tout à l'heure" perhaps?

    Never thought about it before now... until seeing your reply to CHM.

    All those grain silos and agrico-ops along the line...
    once served by the railways...
    now served by HUGE 44 tonne lorries that damage roads and villages never designed for such!
    Safe trip..

  5. That is a HUGE turbine, I don't think I've ever seen one so big before.
    Enjoy your short trip to Paris.

  6. wow great shots! i know that its totally a goofy thing to you... but gosh... i'd pay a pretty penny for a chocolate croissant from the Gare d'Austerlitz right now. we have terrificcinnamon rolls made my amish ladies out here, but you cant get a good pain au chocolat for many many miles. i'm thinking of driving into the nearest city to scout out a new bakery that promises "real" croissants. it will cost me $60 in gas but i'm hoping it will be worth it. enjoy your trip!

  7. Bonjour, Ken. Est-ce que tu auras le temps de faire un tour au marché Saxe-Breteuil jeudi matin?
    Il faudra que tu te lèves de bonne heure.
    A l'heure où sur le boulevard Montparnasse,
    la gare n'est plus qu'une carcasse.

  8. Hey, Tim, that sounds like a good possibility (the toodle-oo/tout à l'heure thing).

    Ken, great job bringing your train trip to us. The photos really made me remember past trips. (I, too, certainly hope those tracks are all inspected!)

  9. Wish I was in one of those empty seats! Love seeing what you're seeing along the way. I'm having an attack of wanderlust just reading this post.

  10. Oui Dean, à l'heure où les boulangers font leurs bâtards...

  11. Hi Judy and Evelyn, you should have seen the number of workers and all the heavy equipment doing repairs at Brétigny-sur-Orge, the site of the recent derailment. The rails and parts of the platforms were all torn up in the accident. My train went thru there really slow this afternoon.

  12. Passing the site of a disaster soon afterwards is always a chilling experience.
    Train crashes are especially worrying, all about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  13. I neglected to mention that my noontime train out of Blois today was cancelled because of the repair work on the tracks at Brétigny, south of Paris. I finally arrived in Paris at 5:30 pm instead of 2:30 -- but I made it. News now is reporting a bad derailment in Spain, with many fatalities.

  14. I think there was a big train wreck in Spain today. Still you're safer than if you were on the road. Enjoy yourself !

  15. Whoops, I should have scrolled down to your post Ken. I hope your mission goes well at the Embassy.


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