|Ridership||140,000,000 journeys per year|
(last extension in 2006)
|Rolling stock||Z 5600, Z 8800, Z 20500, Z 20900|
|Line length||185.6 km (115.3 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The line runs from the northwestern terminuses Pontoise (C1), Versailles-Château (C5) and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (C7) to the southeastern terminuses Massy-Palaiseau (C2), Dourdan-la-Forêt (C4), Saint-Martin d'Étampes (C6) and Versailles – Chantiers (C8).
The RER C is the second longest line in the network, with over 187 km (116 mi) of route. Each day, over 531 trains run on the RER C alone, and carries over 490,000 passengers daily, which is 100,000 passengers more than the entirety of over 800 TGVs. It is also the most popular RER line for tourists which represents 15% of its passengers, as the line serves many monuments and museums, including the Palace of Versailles. Within the city, the RER functions like the Métro, but is faster as it has fewer stops. This has made it a model for proposals to improve transit within other cities. However some argue that the numerous stops, especially inside Paris, and combined with an old and fragile infrastructure, makes the line very slow and inefficient inside the Parisian section of the RER C.
Line C was opened on 26 September 1979 following the construction of a new 1-kilometre (0.62 mi) tunnel connecting the Gare d'Orsay railway terminus (now Musée d'Orsay) with the Invalides terminus of the Rive Gauche line to Versailles, along the banks of the Seine. Services operated between Versailles-Château – Invalides – Quai-d'Orsay, branching to Massy – Palaiseau, and Juvisy – Dourdan / Saint-Martin d'Étampes.
On 25 September 1988 the VMI ("Vallée de Montmorency – Invalides") branch to the north-west opened. This branch mostly used the infrastructure of the "ligne d'Auteuil" (incorporated into the "ligne de petite ceinture" from 1867, closed to passengers from 22 July 1934), and a new 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) tunnel connection between Batignolles and St-Ouen, connecting to the RER C's main trunk at Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel via a curved bridge (the only one in Paris) over the Seine river. This extended services to Montigny – Beauchamp and Argenteuil.
A further 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) extension from Montigny – Beauchamp to Pontoise was opened on 28 August 2000. On the same day a new station, Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, opened in order to create a new connexion with Métro Line 14. Located between Paris-Austerlitz and Boulevard Masséna (which was closed and replaced by the new station).
On 16 December 2006, Boulevard Victor was renamed Boulevard Victor – Pont du Garigliano to highlight the new interchange with tramway line T3. In February 2012, Versailles - Rive Gauche was renamed Versailles-Château, to avoid frequent tourists confusions with other stations in Versailles.
- Media related to Paris RER ligne C at Wikimedia Commons
- RATP official website (in French)
- RATP English website
- Interactive Map of the RER (from RATP's website)
- Interactive Map of the Paris métro (from RATP's website)
- Mobidf website, dedicated to the RER (unofficial) (in French)
- Metro-Pole website, dedicated to Paris public transports (unofficial) (in French)