Gare de Châtelet – Les Halles
Châtelet – Les Halles is the major commuter train hub in Paris. It is the largest underground station in the world. Taken together with the Paris Métro stations Châtelet and Les Halles, to which it is directly connected, hosts 750,000 travellers per week day (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. A large underground network is formed in conjunction 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 part of the RATP-managed IMAGE project was installed, which consisted of 10 flat screens containing information on local traffic from all carriers (RATP, SNCF, etc.). The purpose of the project was to provide local information on rail traffic (next trains, traffic conditions, delays, etc.) that will eventually replace all previously existing information systems.
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 on the same platform as the destinations, and 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. Conversely, Line B to the Gare du Nord and Line A towards Auber are both located on the south 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 de 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.
|Preceding station||RER||Following station|
The main problem of the subway station is that it is accessible only through the Forum des Halles shopping centre—the restricted access slows down circulation.
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.
- 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.
Notes and references
- Roland, Gérard (2003). Stations de métro. D’Abbesses à Wagram. Éditions Bonneton.