Gare de Lyon

Last updated

Paris logo gdslignes jms.svg Paris transit icons - RER.svg Paris transit icons - Train.svg
SNCF, RER and Transilien station
Gare de Lyon Hall 2 1.jpg
A view of Hall 2
LocationPlace Louis-Armand
75571 Paris Cedex 12
Coordinates 48°50′41″N2°22′25″E / 48.8448°N 2.3735°E / 48.8448; 2.3735 Coordinates: 48°50′41″N2°22′25″E / 48.8448°N 2.3735°E / 48.8448; 2.3735
Owned by SNCF and RATP
Operated by SNCF and RATP
Platforms13 (surface) / 1 (RER A) / 2 (RER D)
Tracks22 (surface) / 2 (RER A) / 4 (RER D)
Train operators SNCF (TER, Thello, RER D) , RATP (RER A)
Connections Paris transit icons - Metro.svg Paris transit icons - Metro 1.svg Paris transit icons - Metro 14.svg Paris transit icons - Bus.svg
ArchitectMarius Toudoire
Other information
Station code87686006 / 87686030 (underground)
Fare zone1
Opened12 August 1849 (1849-08-12)
2018148.1 million
Rank2nd busiest in France
Preceding station  SNCF  Following station
Terminus TGV
toward southeastern France
toward  Mulhouse
toward  Lausanne
toward  Lausanne
toward  Zürich
toward  Milan
toward  Barcelona Sants
TER Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Transilien Paris transit icons - Train R.svg
toward  Montargis or Montereau
Paris transit icons - RER.svg Paris transit icons - RER A.svg
toward  Creil
Paris transit icons - RER.svg Paris transit icons - RER D.svg
toward  Melun or Malesherbes
Connections to other stations
Preceding station  Paris Métro  Following station
toward  La Défense
Paris transit icons - Metro.svg Paris transit icons - Metro 1.svg
Transfer at: Gare de Lyon
Paris transit icons - Metro.svg Paris transit icons - Metro 14.svg
Transfer at: Gare de Lyon
toward  Olympiades

The Gare de Lyon (English: Lyon station), officially Paris-Gare-de-Lyon, is one of the six large mainline railway stations in Paris, France. It handles about 148.1 million passengers annually according to the estimates of the SNCF in 2018, with SNCF railways and RER D accounting for around 110 million and 38 million on the RER A, making it the second-busiest station of France after the Gare du Nord and one of the busiest in Europe.


The station is located in the 12th arrondissement, on the right bank of the river Seine, in the east of Paris. Opened in 1849, it is the northern terminus of the Paris–Marseille railway. It is named after the city of Lyon, a stop for many long-distance trains departing here, most en route to the South of France. The station is served by high-speed TGV trains to Southern and Eastern France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Spain. The station also hosts regional trains and the RER and also the Gare de Lyon Métro station.

Main line trains depart from 32 platforms in two distinct halls: Hall 1, which is the older train shed, contains tracks labelled with letters from A to N, while the modern addition of Hall 2 contains tracks which are numbered from 5 to 23. [1] There are a further four platforms for the RER underneath the main lines.


Lyon railway station had been under construction since 1847. It was officially opened to the public on August 12, 1849 under the name "Railway station from Paris to Montereau" (fr. Embarcadère de chemin de fer de Paris à Montereau). It was a boardwalk building designed by architect François-Alexis Cendrier under the direction of Baron Haussmann, and at the time of its construction it was awaiting arbitration between the French state and the first Compagnie des chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM) company over its management. PLM did not like the fact that Mazas prison was being built next to the station. The company hoped that it could extend the railroad branch line to Place de la Bastille. But instead of that, Lyon Street (fr. Rue de Lyon) was laid out between the station and Place de la Bastille. The station was expanded many times as the volume of rail traffic increased. [2]

As the station became unsuitable for further expansion, a second Gare de Lyon building was constructed in 1855 by the design of the architect François-Alexis Cendrier. New building was operated by the newly established Paris à Lyon (PL) railway company. The station was built on a six- to eight-meter high embankment to protect it from the floods of the Seine. It had only five tracks, occupying a large hall 220 meters long and 42 meters wide. A portico to the right of the entrance to the arrival hall connected the station itself to the Bâtiment X, the central administration building on the side facing Boulevard Mazas. The station was partially destroyed by fire during the Paris Commune in 1871 and later rebuilt. [2]

On July 8, 1887, General Georges Boulanger's departure from Paris triggered a demonstration: 8,000 people stormed the train station and covered the train with "Il reviendra" (He will return) posters and delayed its departure by an hour and a half. [3]

By 1900, in time for the 1900 World's Fair, a new thirteen-track Gare de Lyon building was constructed, designed by the Toulon architect Marius Toudoire and decorated with a large fresco by the Marseille artist Jean-Baptiste Olive, depicting some of the cities to which one could take a train from this station. [4] It was inaugurated on April 6, 1901 by Émile Loubet, president of the Third Republic.

On multiple levels, it is considered a classic example of the architecture of its time. Most notable is the large clock tower atop one corner of the station, similar in style to the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, home to Big Ben. The station houses the Le Train Bleu restaurant, which has served drinks and meals to travellers and other guests since 1901 in an ornately decorated setting.

On 27 June 1988, in the Gare de Lyon train accident, a runaway train crashed into a stationary rush-hour train, killing 56 people and injuring a further 55. A fire broke out on 28 February 2020, [5] that was reportedly started by Congolese protesters. [6] The station was completely evacuated.

Train services

From Gare de Lyon train services depart to major French cities such as: Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier, Perpignan, Dijon, Besançon, Mulhouse, Grenoble and a number of destinations in the French Alps. International services operate to Italy: Turin and Milan; Switzerland: Geneva, Zürich, Basel and Lausanne; and Spain: Barcelona.

The following services currently call at Gare de Lyon:

In films

The station has appeared in the following films :

See also

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  1. > "Plan et orientation–Gare de Lyon" . Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. 1 2 Forcet, Roland (November 2015). "Embarcadère de Paris de la ligne de Paris à Lyon et à Marseille". Rails d'Autrefois - La revue du Cercle historique du rail français (in French) (12): 7–13. ISSN   2110-4522.
  3. Garrigues, Jean (2010). "Boulanger, ou la fabrique de l'homme providentiel" (in French). À la gare de Lyon, plus de 8 000 personnes l’attendent, d’après les rapports de la préfecture de police. […] La marée humaine défonce les grilles, submerge le service d’ordre et envahit les voies, et la locomotive emportant le général aura toutes les peines du monde à s’extraire de la foule, avec plus d’une heure et demie de retard.
  4. Tabeaud, Martine; Moriniaux, Vincent (1 April 2013). "Vers « les cieux imbéciles… où jamais il ne pleut »1". Géographie et cultures (85): 111–128. doi: 10.4000/gc.2776 . ISSN   1165-0354.
  5. Miller, Hannah (28 February 2020). "Fire breaks out near Paris' Gare de Lyon rail station, forces evacuation". CNBC. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  6. Willsher, Kim (28 February 2020). "Gare de Lyon in Paris evacuated after fire outside station". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 28 February 2020.