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Some years ago I read the memoires of a Dutch newsreader on his experiences in Paris. In his book, very cliche, called, Gare du nord. The model trains from the basement in gare de l'est were mentioned. Here pensioned train drivers meet to discuss their past, while playing with model trains. I went there twice and must say it is quite impressive and surprising what I saw. However, I could only find the entrance, because of the detailed description given in that book. There isn't any sign of its existence. Ever since I have suggested it to other friends visiting Paris. I was never sure if this basement is open to the public, but nobody ever stopped me when I wandered around. I had some nice conversations with one of the participants, although most keep to them selfs.

So does anyone know whether or not I was an intruder?

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Sounds cool, I must remember to check it out next time I'm in Gare de l'Est. – Max Jul 22 '14 at 17:15

I think all train lovers will be welcome to this place, even if it is not very widely advertised.

Several French sites mention that it is possible to visit this place on saturday afternoon :

It is run by the AFAC, and it might be safer to give them a call (in French) before coming :

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It is listed in this guidebook (one of the excerpts discusses it), and various other websites describe visiting it, so I guess it's open to the public.

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