Gare du Nord
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (October 2011)|
|Paris North Station
Gare du Nord
|Address||112 Rue de Maubeuge,
|Platforms||36 (two not in service)|
|Rebuilt||1889 (expanded 1930s-1960s)|
|Electrified||25 kV 50 Hz
1.5 kV DC (Underground RER Lines)
|Passengers ()||190 million|
Paris Nord (or Gare du Nord, "North Station", pronounced: [ɡaʁ dy nɔːʁ]) is one of the six large terminus railway stations of the SNCF mainline network for Paris, France. It offers connections with several urban transportation lines, including Paris Métro, RER and Buses. By the number of travelers, at around 190 million per year, it is unmistakably the busiest railway station in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
The Gare du Nord is the station for trains to Northern France and to international destinations in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The station complex was designed by French architect Jacques Hittorff and built between 1861 and 1864. It is situated in the 10th arrondissement of Paris.
The first Gare du Nord was built by Bridge and Roadway Engineers on behalf of the Chemin de Fer du Nord company, which was managed by Léonce Reynaud, professor of architecture at the École Polytechnique. The station was inaugurated on 14 June 1846, the same year as the launch of the Paris–Amiens–Lille rail link. Since the station was found to be too small in size, it was partially demolished in 1860 to provide space for the current station. The original station's façade was removed and transferred to Lille.
The chairman of the Chemin de Fer du Nord railway company, James Mayer de Rothschild, chose the French architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff to design the current station. Construction lasted from May 1861 to December 1865, but the new station opened for service while still under construction in 1864. The façade was designed around a triumphal arch and used many slabs of stone. The building has the usual U-shape of a terminus station. The main support beam is made out of cast iron. The support pillars inside the station were made at Alston & Gourley's ironworks in Glasgow in the United Kingdom, the only country with a foundry large enough for the task.
The sculptural display represents the principal cities served by the company. Eight of the nine most majestic statues, crowning the building along the cornice line, illustrate destinations outside France, with the ninth figure of Paris in the center. Fourteen more modest statues representing northern French cities are lower on the facade. The sculptors represented are:
- London and Vienna by Jean-Louis Jaley
- Brussels and Warsaw by François Jouffroy
- Amsterdam by Charles Gumery
- Frankfurt by Gabriel Thomas
- Berlin by Jean-Joseph Perraud
- Cologne by Mathurin Moreau
- Paris, Boulogne and Compiegne by Pierre-Jules Cavelier
- Arras and Laon by Théodore-Charles Gruyère
- Lille and Beauvais by Charles-François Lebœuf
- Valenciennes and Calais by Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire
- Rouen and Amiens by Eugène-Louis Lequesne
- Douai and Dunkirk by Gustave Crauck
- Cambrai and Saint-Quentin by Auguste Ottin
Like other Parisian railway stations, the Gare du Nord rapidly became too small to deal with the increase in railway traffic. In 1884, engineers were able to add five supplementary tracks. The interior was completely rebuilt in 1889 and an extension was built on the eastern side to serve suburban rail lines. More expansion work was carried out between the 1930s and the 1960s.
Beginning in 1906 and 1908, the station was served by the Metro Line 4, which crosses Paris from north to south, and the terminus of Metro Line 5, which ran to Étoile through Place d'Italie. In 1942, Line 5 was extended towards the northern suburbs of Pantin and Bobigny, while its south terminus was set to Place d'Italie. Metro Line 2 (station La Chapelle) is linked to the Gare du Nord via an underground tunnel. One enters the Métro station and, instead of climbing the stairs that lead to the elevated métro line (not all of Line 2 is elevated) descends several flights of stairs, before traversing a long, arched circular hallway to enter the station.
Finally, in 1994, the arrival of Eurostar trains required another reorganisation of the rail tracks:
- Platforms 1 and 2 :: Service platforms, not open to the public.
- Platforms 3 to 6 :: Terminus of the London Eurostar via the Channel Tunnel.
- Platforms 7 and 8 :: Thalys platforms for Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
- Platforms 9 to 18 :: TGV North, Main Line trains, and some Picard TER.
- Platforms 19 to 21 :: Picard TER.
- Platforms 30 to 36 :: Suburban station, Transiliens and Picard TER (Paris-Beauvais line)
- Platforms 41 to 44 (underground) :: RER station, lines B and D.
- 4 Métro Platforms (underground) :: Lines 4&5
It is also connected to Magenta RER Station (4 platforms, line E) and La Chapelle Métro Station (2 platforms, line 2)
There is a further construction project to build a connecting hallway between Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est, which is projected to open around the time when the new LGV Est begins serving the station. When open the Gare du Nord-Gare de l'Est complex (including Magenta & La Chapelle) will have 77 platforms, more than any other rail station in the world.
Security for the station is provided by the French police, the railways police and private security companies. Due to the position of the station as a gateway to the northern suburbs of Paris, there are some parts of the station where security incidents occur from time to time.
In popular culture 
The Gare du Nord has served as a backdrop in numerous French films, for instance in Les Poupées Russes.
In US movies, both the exterior and the interior of the Gare du Nord are seen in the 2002 film The Bourne Identity with Matt Damon and again in the trilogy's finale, The Bourne Ultimatum, released in August 2007. It was also seen in Ocean's Twelve in 2004, and Mr Bean's Holiday in 2007.
The ending of the 2012 movie The Raven by James McTeigue takes place at the station.
Train services 
The following services currently call at Paris Nord:
- high speed services (Eurostar) Paris - Lille - London
- high speed services (Thalys) Paris - Brussels - Amsterdam
- high speed services (Thalys) Paris - Brussels - Cologne - Essen
- high speed services (Thalys) Paris - Brussels - Ostend
- high speed services (Thalys) Paris - Brussels - Cologne
|TGV||High Speed Train||Tourcoing - Roubaix - Croix-Wasquehal - Lille-Flandres - Paris-Nord||TGV Sud-Est, Eurostar|
|TGV||High Speed Train||Calais-Ville - Calais-Fréthun - Lille-Europe - Paris-Nord|
|TGV||High Speed Train||Rang-du-Fliers-Verton - Étaples-Le Touquet - Boulogne-Ville - Calais-Fréthun - Lille-Europe - Paris-Nord|
|TGV||High Speed Train||Dunkerque - Hazebrouck - Béthune - Lens - Arras - Paris-Nord||TGV Sud-Est|
|TGV||High Speed Train||Saint-Omer - Hazebrouck - Béthune - Lens - Arras - Paris-Nord|
|TGV||High Speed Train||Valenciennes - Douai - Arras - Paris-Nord|
|Preceding station||SNCF||Following station|
|Terminus||TER Picardie 6||
|TER Picardie 12||Terminus|
|Terminus||TER Picardie 19||
|TER Picardie 22||Terminus|
|Preceding station||Thalys||Following station|
toward Amsterdam Centraal
toward Essen Hbf
toward Brussels National Airport
|Preceding station||Eurostar||Following station|
toward London St Pancras
Connects to the B and D lines in the basement. Line B serves Charles de Gaulle airport (Roissy). Line D assures a quick passage between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon. Both lines serve Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
The RER station is directly connected to Magenta station, which was constructed further underground to the east of the Gare du Nord. It is served by the RER E line that offers a link between the Gare du Nord and Saint-Lazare/Gare Saint-Lazare.
|Preceding station||RER||Following station|
Paris Métro 
- Lines 4 and 5, whose following station is Gare de l'Est.
- There has been a connecting hallway connecting the RER station with La Chapelle on Line 2 since the 1990s.
|Preceding station||Paris Métro||Following station|
|Barbès - Rochechouart||Line 4||Gare de l'Est|
|Stalingrad||Line 5||Gare de l'Est|
Times shown are fastest timetabled journey from St Pancras.
See also 
- Spicer, Paul. "The Shooting at the Gare du Nord." Vanity Fair. 16 July 2010. 1. Retrieved on 18 July 2010. Exclusively available on the world wide web.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gare de Paris-Nord|