Information published on 28 June 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 353.

New Hall 2 in Paris Gare de Lyon, France’s first high speed railway station, inaugurated on 26 June

  • Stations and Intermodal Hubs

After three years of refurbishment, the new Hall 2 in Paris’ Gare de Lyon station was inaugurated on Wednesday 26 June 2013 in the company of Guillaume Pepy, President of SNCF, Robert Zolade, President of Elior, Gérard Bienfait, President of VINCI Construction France and Rachel Picard, Director of Stations & Connections. Gare de Lyon station handles 105 million passengers each year, with trains departing every two minutes and serving all stations in the south-east and key European routes towards Italy, Switzerland and Spain.

Guillaume Pepy said,

I am proud to acknowledge the performance of the teams which have worked on this important project, and the accomplishment of all those who have provided passenger services in often sensitive conditions. “Services will continue throughout the works!” as they would say. This project illustrates SNCF Group’s know-how and sense of customer service. Together with our partners, we wish to show French and foreign travellers a project that meets France’s highest standards – an exceptional piece of architecture bringing together the past and the present, a host of services providing individual attention and a wide variety of retail and restaurants for our customers – in short, a living station!”

Rachel Picard, Director of Stations & Connections, said

Paris Gare de Lyon station meets the needs of a 21st century station with its diverse history and contemporary vibrancy as a station which is welcoming, bright and comfortable. It is a seamless station which accompanies passengers throughout their journey – a station open to the city. Under this glass roof and in this project we have not only wanted to provide comfort and aesthetics, but also emotions: space and time for passengers to set their own pace; retail and services for the full experience; a thought for every traveller – whether great or small, indulgent or rushed; whether a business or leisure trip, occasional or daily journey – we wanted to deliver a station which provides an enjoyable living experience.”

The project’s architects are Jean-Marie Duthilleul, François Bonnefille, Etienne Tricaud and Fabienne Couvert.

A new space offering unique and innovative retail

For Stations & Connections, the new Hall 2 project served as an opportunity to rethink the overall running of the station in terms of services and to develop its business potential by working with Elior, the project’s contractor, which involved building a mezzanine under a glass roof, combining originality with innovation.

Established on two floors, the new sales points offering self-service ticket machines to counter services and take away sales are neatly incorporated into the transparent and bright architecture.

You can view the visit of the station here:


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An exceptionally complex project in one of the busiest stations

The work undertaken by VINCI Construction France lasted three years, all stages combined, to reconvert Gare de Lyon station into a living space. The opening of the mezzanine marks the end of Hall 2’s transformation.

The reconversion of Hall 2 continues the tradition of large metallic halls found in 19th century stations designed to protect passengers whilst ensuring natural light can still enter. Nevertheless, the architectural approach and design structure of the two new halls are a feature of 19th century tradition: new innovative materials enable lighter constructions to be built.

The glazing consists of clear laminated glass panels with a high-tech protective covering between the two glass layers to minimise heat gain whilst allowing as much light in as possible. The connection between halls offers panoramic views over the city.

Headed by Rachel Picard, Stations & Connections within SNCF dedicates its activity to the management and development of 3000 stations in France. It focuses on two priorities:

  • Promoting quality service for customers, carriers and the city
  • Making the necessary investments to develop traffic without it being a burden on carriers

For Station s & Connections, the arrival of new and growing number of operators on the rail transport market places the station at the heart of sustainable mobility issues. As a new urban centre, the station contributes to the appeal of cities and surrounding areas.

Gare de Lyon station summed up in figures

  • 105 million passengers per year, of which 35 million travel on high speed lines
  • Largest TGV station in France with 35 million TGV passengers
  • Third busiest station in Paris
  • One train either departing or arriving every two minutes
  • An average of 300 trains in operation per day
  • 81,000 m² of total site area

Intermodal transport includes:

  • 10 bus routes
  • 14 night bus (Noctilien) routes
  • 2 metro lines
  • 2 RER (suburban train) lines
  • 3 underground car parks with 3,175 parking spaces

57 outlets in Halls 1, 2, 3, Diderot Gallery (Galérie Diderot) and Hall of Frescoes (Salle des Fresques), including 11 new outlets in Hall 2 (on-site and take-away catering, and services for passengers and families).

Hall 2: overall surface areas

  • Prior to refurbishment: all services combined comprised an area of 1,270 m², of which 1000 m² was exclusively public space
  • Post refurbishment: all services comprise an area of 4,900 m², of which 4000 m² is exclusively public space

3,000 people in total work in the station (SNCF staff, providers, cleaning companies, surveillance, facility maintenance, fire service, regional transport police, customs officers, immigration, retailers, etc.)

(Source: Stations & Connections)