Gare de Châtelet – Les Halles
|RER commuter rail station|
|Location||Paris, Île-de-France, France|
|Opened||9 December 1977|
Châtelet – Les Halles is the major commuter train hub in Paris and the largest underground station in the world. It is directly connected with the Paris Métro stations Châtelet and Les Halles. Taken together they host 750,000 travellers per weekday (including interchanges), 493,000 for the RER only. It is named after the Châtelet monument and the former market of Les Halles.
The station is served by lines A, B, and D of the RER, and is therefore directly accessible from many stations in Île-de-France. It forms a large underground network with the Châtelet and Les Halles Métro stations. This network brings together three of the five RER lines and five Métro lines, and is the central node of the network of transit of the Ile-de-France metropolitan area. Every day, 750,000 travelers pass through Châtelet–Les Halles, including 493,000 just for the RER. At peak hours, the station can see 120 trains in just one hour.
Châtelet–Les Halles is also the station where the second stage of the RATP-managed IMAGE project was installed. It consists in 10 flat screens which provide local traffic information (next trains, traffic conditions, delays, etc.) from all carriers (RATP, SNCF, etc.) and will eventually replace the information systems of the individual carriers.
The tracks of the three RER lines are all oriented parallel in an east-west direction. The seven tracks are grouped on four platforms. Both central platforms are reserved for Line D. The benefit is that same-direction connections between RER A and RER B can be made across the same platform, while that RER D trains which terminate at Châtelet – Les Halles can use the centre track.
Line A’s track towards Gare de Lyon and Line B’s track to Saint-Michel are both located on the north platform.
While the tracks of Line B run parallel to those of Line D, the tracks of Line A are located on the north and south. On each platform, the trains travel in the same direction. For example, trains to Gare du Nord run east-west and those towards Saint-Michel run west-east.
The southern end of Châtelet – Les Halles is connected to the Métro station of Châtelet, and the northern end is connected to the Métro station of Les Halles. The walking distance from the RER lines at Châtelet – Les Halles to Métro Line 7 at the far end of Châtelet is about 750 metres.
The main problem of the subway station is that its access necessarily flows through the Forum des Halles shopping mall. This restricts and slows down passenger flow, and could become a safety issue in an emergency evacuation at peak traffic time.
The redesign of Les Halles includes a major redevelopment of the transit station. Redevelopment includes:
- Creating new access from Rue des Halles / Rue Saint-Honoré (Saint-Honoré exit) in addition to the renovated Lescot entrance.
- Extension of the escalator system at the Berger Rambuteau entrance at levels -3 and -4, facilitating circulation between the mall and the subway station.
- Creating a direct access from Place Marguerite de Navarre towards Place du Châtelet, with 4 escalators, 2 stairways and 2 lifts, with direct access to levels -3 (interchange room) and -4 (RER and metro).
- Expansion and renovation of the subway station; demolition of the false ceiling, improved lighting and communication, and adding a side gallery.
The renovation is scheduled to begin in 2011; no major interruption of subway traffic is expected. The renovation is scheduled to be finished by 2016.
- "STIF - Redevelopment of the hub RER Châtelet - Les Halles" (PDF). (4.04 MB)(French)
- Future exit Saint-Honoré to rue des Halles / rue Saint Honoré (rue de Rivoli) (French)
- RATP - Pôle RER Châtelet - Les Halles (French)
- Roland, Gérard (2003). Stations de métro. D’Abbesses à Wagram. Éditions Bonneton.
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