Gare Saint-Charles (Marseille)

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Marseille-Saint-Charles
SNCF railway station
Gare de Saint-Charles Marseille FRA 001.JPG
Station statistics
Address Square Narvik 13232 Marseille Cedex 1
Line(s) Paris–Marseille railway
Marseille–Ventimiglia railway
Tracks 15
Other information
Owned by RFF / SNCF
Traffic
Passengers (2007) 15 million
Saint-Charles Station main staircase.
The new extension of Saint-Charles Station
Night view from the main staircase

Marseille Saint-Charles is the main railway station and intercity bus station of Marseille. It is the southern terminus of the Paris–Marseille railway. It opened on 8 January 1848, having been built for the PLM on the land of the Saint Charles Cemetery. The station is perched on top of a small hill and is linked to the city centre by a monumental set of stairs. Since 2001,[1] when the TGV reduced dramatically the travel time between Marseille and northern France, traffic increased (7.1 million annual passengers in 2000 to 15 million in 2007) and the station is currently the 11th busiest in France.

Overview[edit]

The station was once a key stage on the sea voyage to Africa, the Middle-East and the Far East, before the popularisation of flying. To the rear of the station along Boulevard Voltaire was the goods yard which was used up until the end of the 1990s by the SNCF's road freight operations, Sernam. The station, originally isolated from the city, was equipped with a grand staircase, envisioned by Eugène Senès in 1911 and opened in 1926. It is bordered by statues inspired by all the distant locations to which people sailed from Marseille's port.

Saint-Charles has 14 terminal platforms and four tracks which run through, all equipped with 1500 V DC overhead wire. Tracks run in various directions, towards Ventimiglia, the north, Briançon, and the harbour station of La Joliette.

A first extension was opened after World War II. The buildings on the north side had been destroyed and were rebuilt to house the administration offices of the SNCF. A new between level was opened to enhance the flow of passengers.

At the end of the 1990s a redevelopment project began with the opening of the Marseille underground and bus interchange as well as the arrival of the TGV Méditerranée. Since 2001 new underground parking lots and a tunnel have allowed the station to be renewed. A new hall, the Halle Honnorat, was created housing shops and services. The displacement of the regional coach station on the other side of the station allowed a new pedestrian square to be created, between the station and the Aix-Marseille University site of Saint-Charles. New pedestrian spaces with cafe terraces have also been created atop the grand stairs.

Paulin Talabot started the Marseille-Avignon line.

Destinations[edit]

Many other regional trains serve the station.

Preceding station   SNCF   Following station
toward northern France
TGV Terminus
TGV
toward Nice-Ville
Intercités
toward Nice-Ville
Intercités Terminus
toward Hendaye
Intercités
night trains
toward Nice-Ville
Intercités
night trains
toward Nice-Ville
toward Narbonne
TER Languedoc-Roussillon 3 Terminus
Terminus TER PACA 1
toward Hyères
TER PACA 6
toward Nice-Ville
toward Miramas
TER PACA 7 Terminus
TER PACA 8
TER PACA 9
TER PACA 10
toward Pertuis
TER PACA 12
toward Briançon
TER PACA 13

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 43°18′11″N 5°22′52″E / 43.30306°N 5.38111°E / 43.30306; 5.38111