UIC - International Union of Railways: www.uic.org
Created by the UIC Communications Department
UIC - International Union of Railways: www.uic.org
Created by the UIC Communications Department
Stations emerged alongside railways, as the staging-posts of this new industrial era. They increased in number as railways developed into networks that, in turn, could only develop alongside stations. From the outset, stations have been essential to the departure, the passage and the arrival of trains, and to the ebb and flow of all the travellers they carry. A railway network can be seen as lines irrigating a geographical area in the same way as a network of arteries nourish and keep alive a body and living being. Stations are the nodes and beating hearts of this network, and sustain it by injecting and managing the movements of all the travellers which are its lifeblood and raison d’être.
Stations are places of life and emotion: goodbyes as people depart for far-off destinations, on holiday or to war; of reunions, shared moments and daily commutes between home and work; and of children’s everlasting admiration for the beautiful steam engines or high speed trains which whisk them away. Stations are centres of transit, a “breather” between the city, its surroundings and other cities and places further away.
Stations have gradually become organised, transformed and developed to host all those passing through – whether travellers or not – and to offer board, lodging, or other everyday services. And since we must always go via somewhere in order to go anywhere, stations have become an interface between all the various modes of mobility – trains, metro, buses, cars and bicycles. They have thus become mediators and organisers of daily mobility.
This Next Station congress in Moscow – following that of Brussels – aims to highlight this evolution of stations in cities and the way in which they manage the ebb and flow of mobility in daily life.
Stations portend future change in society, and as the role of UIC is to anticipate change, this topic is of particular importance to our organisation, to help serve our members as always.
This special issue contains a variety of content, featuring entries you will find surprising, amusing and lyrical such as Dream Stations.
In A Gourmet Station you will meet a chef who has set up shop in a station, as well as serious and informative examples related to work undertaken by the SMGG focusing on the renovation of 13 railway stations across the world.
In the visual representations you will see the changing relationships between station stakeholders. As well as a depiction of how the concept of a “station” has changed over time and the interaction between stations and their urban environment, two slides explain complex phenomena which vary according to the context and reality of each country and even each station, all focusing on a complex web of stakeholders and spatial interaction between stations and cities. This moves from the most simplistic vision of an “introverted” station and builds up to a complex model showing all the scenarios of change in station governance, taking into account the degree to which stations are open to the surrounding city, as illustrated by a model of an “open” station.
Let us not forget a brief history of how the concept of “a station” developed between the 19th and 20th centuries; a section on Amazing Stations showing a selection of stations with unusual or surprising features, which appear in the Guinness Book of Records for whatever reason; and finally a bibliography and a picture gallery.
So plenty of material! The UIC editorial team hopes that you enjoy reading this issue!
During this summer, significant work was undertaken by the UIC Passenger Department in consultation with the Station Managers Global Group (SMGG).
The work focuses on large station renovation projects around the world through various examples illustrating this phenomenon.
By clicking on these Polaroid images, you can travel to Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Stuttgart, Rome, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Madrid, Zurich, Moscow, Seoul...
For each of these railway stations, you will learn about the national railway system, governance and financing, as well as a description of the station renovation project.
We wish you a pleasant journey!
The following two models are just one way of simplifying the complex phenomena of the interaction between stations and their environment, because station models differ depending on the context and reality of each country, and of course each station.
The aim is to highlight the evolution of governance and spatial interaction (station/city): starting from the most simplistic vision of an introverted station to a more complex model involving all scenarios of possible changes in the governance of stations, and the degree of openness of the station towards the city through an open station model.
Passageways to other destinations, stations are also places of emotion, in which many people dream of elsewhere, their projects and the future…
This summer we therefore called on the creative instincts of the UIC staff and readers of UIC eNews to share with us their dream station, their ideal station, or their station of the future. Here are some of them!
Interview with three-star Michelin chef Eric Frechon, proprietor of a new restaurant at Paris’ Gare Saint Lazare since September: when taste is part of the journey!
Tasteless, shapeless sandwiches wolfed down between stamping your ticket and boarding the train could henceforth be a thing of past for some rail travellers!
Nowadays Michelin-starred chefs are crowding into stations and spreading their own ideas about catering in environments such as these, places shaped by travel, hustle and bustle, short connections between trains, but also fun places where we like to enjoy and appreciate the taste of things.
French chef Eric Frechon, who has three Michelin stars and recently set up shop in Paris’ Gare Saint Lazare, takes us on a culinary journey in the station of (good) taste.
Eric Frechon delivers the best of his cuisine to travellers passing through, local residents and passing tourists, at Parvis de la Gare Saint Lazare, Rue Intérieure, 75 008 PARIS (www.lazare-paris.fr)
It’s not actually that different – I’ve always been a boss at heart. Even at the Bristol I manage my kitchens like I’m the owner, and as it’s been 15 years since I’ve been there, it came to the point where I needed another challenge. We’ve got three stars under our belt, but it’s also nice to have projects – it opens the mind. What I enjoy now is sharing my knowledge and making it available through restaurants, books and the art of good eating, with simple cooking and quality ingredients, with a touch of originality. The aim is to democratise fine food and taste by making it accessible to as many people as possible; through passing on the knowledge.
The aim at the start of this project wasn’t to just base it purely around the station. We also wanted to make it into a genuine “destination”; a final port of call informed both by the station and by what Parisians want. If the project was based purely around the station it wouldn’t be viable as we would have to close at the same times, whereas in the current set-up we cater for travellers with the table d’hôte menu, the bar and the lounge, and we’ve reserved the restaurant area for Parisian customers or travellers who want to dine for longer.
Definitely; we’ve totally adapted to demand, so if travellers only want a ham sandwich because they haven’t got time, then we prepare it for them and it’s the best! Or they can eat a main meal at the counter in 20 minutes. We really tailor our service to how much time the traveller or restaurant client has to dine. We really adapt to travellers’ needs. If they say to us “I’ve only got five minutes to eat”… well then there’s a limit as to what we can do; we cook here, we’re not a fast-food chain. Sandwiches here are prepared on the spot, so the traveller has to wait for it to be made. That’s why it’s a good sandwich. I don’t create food here; I make good food, great food, fine food, that’s all! I prepare food that I would want to eat today! So I designed this restaurant by putting myself in the client’s shoes, that is to say I wouldn’t want 50 pastries but one or two excellent ones; one sandwich, but the best; less, but the best!
I don’t personally like the term “restaurant”. This is a living place, a place of sharing. We come here in a certain frame of mind, to have a good time, to treat ourselves, to share things. Everything’s done on-site. We’ve got a storehouse and a laboratory, all in the station. There are 16 of us in total, working 7 days a week, morning to night. This lunchtime we served around a hundred covers. I’ve got the feeling that this place is making the station open outwards and that it’s removing the boundaries with the city and making them almost invisible. When I say that the restaurant is open even when there’s no time left or when the station’s shut, it’s a sign of communication between the city, Paris and the station. We’re kind of the “binder”, the ingredient between the two, so that the recipe works. This really is a living place between the outside and inside!
I do take the train sometimes, it does happen. In my case I either eat before or after! If I were a traveller and I had to take the train from Saint Lazare station I’d come and get my sandwich from Lazare and eat it on the train. At the same time it’s normal that the triangular sandwiches that we had back in the day (not the best quality admittedly) – sold in stations and on trains – aren’t any good because as soon you’re dealing with large volumes it’s difficult to combine it with quality. The volumes that we deal with here enable us to use our know-how and still manage the quantities; we do everything on-site, which makes all the difference. As soon as you outsource certain things the quality suffers. A sandwich is only good when it’s made in front of you, otherwise it can’t be good. If the bread has been in the fridge or baked three hours before it will obviously be less tasty!
I think travellers should spend a minimum amount of time dining! I think there should be thirty minutes between when the traveller arrives and leaves. Thirty minutes is enough time to have the dish of the day, a cold cut platter, or a cheese dish. When I say thirty minutes I mean it’s the maximum. Sometimes people go on about how long it is and then they are the ones who take two hours to eat!
Ah yes…it was to thumb our noses slightly at the famous “Paris-Brest”. It’s a dessert which has an incredible effect! It unsettles people, and because it’s a unique creation they can’t measure it against anything. You can only find it here! People say it resembles a crème brûlée, but not quite…that it’s like a very light semolina cake, but there’s no semolina. The texture is a bit like rice pudding…so people try and find a point of reference – which goes to show they need one! But there isn’t one with this! I broke the rules a bit…it’s actually a cold soufflé filled with caramel, inspired by my Norman roots (also my reason for wanting to set up in Gare Saint Lazare). This dessert was my mother’s recipe and I reworked it to make the Paris-Deauville. Also partly with respect to the Paris-Deauville route, and Deauville which will be served by the TGV in 2014!
Yes, why not! At the moment there are lots of foreign visitors to Saint Lazare station as it’s a benchmark for many people; to see how it was designed, how it was refurbished and given a new lease of life. It’s a real achievement; I don’t think the architects of this renaissance were expecting the station to be quite as successful as it is.
We thank UIC Members for their contributions
UIC would like to thank its Members for their contributions (pictures). Particular thanks go to the Members of the Station Managers Global Group (SMGG) for their comments and advice.
Reproduction of the content is only authorised with specific mention of the source (UIC).
UIC Passenger and High Speed Department
Ignacio Barron de Angoiti
With the participation of Sabrina Beniddir and Marc Guigon
Marie Plaud, UIC Communications Department
Helen Slaney, UIC Communications Department
Aymeric Boniou, UIC Communications Department