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IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover

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IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
Feel like a king on the Versailles-inspired commuter train. Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF
15:51 CEST+02:00
An art project sees Paris's RER trains transformed into replicas of the Palace of Versailles, so you can travel (almost) like a king.

The Palace of Versaille is decadent, luxurious, beautiful, colourful and a highlight of many people's visits to Paris.

The RER, the city's commuter train line, is, well, the complete opposite.

But that's about to change, as five trains on the RER C line are set to get a royal makeover and be transformed into different parts of the grounds and gardens of the palace.


Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF

To complete the transformation, the AdKeys agency painstakingly apply a thin plastic film to the carriages, turning them into the spitting image of the palace - a process that rail operator SNCF says was like "a delicate puzzle".

Different carriages recreate the gardens, fountains or interiors, including details such as flowers, books and ceiling panels. The trains will hit the tracks from Wednesday, May 25th.


Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF

It's all part of Art in Transit, an annual project by rail company SNCF to beautify its trains. Previous years have seen the trains recreate Impressionist paintings and tourist favourite Musee d'Orsay, but this year they have taken inspiration from the "richness" of Versailles.


Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF

The RER C takes passengers from central Paris to the Palace of Versailles, taking in numerous other tourist destinations along the way - in fact, tourists make up ten percent of its passengers.


Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF

SNCF said the aim of Art in Transit was to "make the conditions more pleasant for tourists and daily commuters" and it is also an innovative way of promoting a key heritage site. So you'll be able to feel  like a king as you ride the train - if you can ignore the fact that you're crammed into a carriage with dozens of strangers.


Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF

Over seven million people visit the palace – France's third most visited tourist site – every year, which was the principal residence of French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. In 2003, a huge restoration project was launched, which is scheduled to continue until 2020.


Photo: Maxime Huriez/SNCF

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