Across the river, at Gare de Lyon, just as work finishes to renovate and rebuild the east side of the station (the Chalons wing, the galerie des fresques, notably) a forest of scaffolding has invaded the west side of Hall 1 in order to renovate the PHV (Petite Halle Voyageurs), a century old. The work is scheduled to last 3 years and finish in 2024, the year of the Olympic games.
The most controversial project is at Gare du Nord. It has barely started and it is a huge challenge. The project is jointly run by SNCF and Ville de Paris with supermarket group Auchan to operate the new shopping area. The main contractor is Bouygues. The objective is to adapt the station for an increase in traffic expected from the current level of 700,000 passengers daily (pre COFID) to 900,000 daily in 2030. The construction will last 4 years while keeping the station open. It will cost 600 million euros, maybe more !!
One of the principal changes will be separation of inbound and outbound passenger flows. Currently all passengers mill around at ground level in the big hall, a mixture of those waiting to board and those arriving and searching for taxis or metro or RER.
On completion of the new project the following system will be applied:
- Inbound mainline passengers will disembark and use the big hall as now.
- Outbound mainline passengers will use a new departure hall at level +1 in a new building to be constructed between the big hall and the former suburban hall above RER B/D. ( 70% of outbound passengers arrive by RER or metro. They will reach the new departure hall by escalators and new lifts. A new entrance will be created on the east side of the station)
- The number of escalators will double. 6,000 bicycle racks will be created 1,000 extra seats will be provided
- Access to the main line platforms will be from the departure hall by 3 cross bridges and escalators.
- The Eurostar terminal called "TransManche" will be re-organised and expanded in priority for opening in 2023.
- Above the new departure hall there will be a commercial centre, on level +3 there will be a one hectare roof garden with a 1 km piste for running.
- Outside the front of the station there will be a pedestrian area in place of the road junction.
Opposition to parts of this mega project resulted in a reduction of the size of the commercial shopping area (one floor was removed from the new departure building).
The challenge is to complete as much as possible by 2024 when the Olympic Games are scheduled in Paris.
Below Gare d'Austerlitz in 2017 showing the overall roof before the scaffolding arrived. 141 R 840 has just arrived from Orleans following a major overhaul.