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Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles

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Title: Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles  
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Subject: Provence, Saint Charles, Charles de Gaulle Airport, List of IATA-indexed railway stations, Railway station layout, The Amazing Race 1, LGV Méditerranée, Gare de Lille Europe, Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry
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Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles

SNCF railway station
Station statistics
Address Square Narvik 13232 Marseille Cedex 1
Line(s) Paris–Marseille railway
Marseille–Ventimiglia railway
Tracks 15
Other information
Owned by RFF / SNCF
Passengers (2007)15 million

Marseille Saint-Charles is the main railway station and intercity bus station of Marseille. It is the southern terminus of the Paris–Marseille railway. It opened on 8 January 1848, having been built for the PLM on the land of the Saint Charles Cemetery. The station is perched on top of a small hill and is linked to the city centre by a monumental set of stairs. Since 2001,[1] when the TGV reduced dramatically the travel time between Marseille and further northern, the station traffic increased (7.1 million annual passengers in 2000 to 15 million in 2007) and the station is currently the 11th busiest in France (after Paris, Lyon and Lille stations).


The station was once a stage on the voyage to Africa and the Middle-East before the popularisation of flying. Passengers now arrive from Paris, the North of France and the United Kingdom.

The station building was built in a U shape around a rooftop canopy. It was opened in 1848 on top of a plateau. Both wings house the arrivals and departures. To the rear of the station, along Boulevard Voltaire was the station's goods yard which was used up until the end of the 1990s by the SNCF's road freight operations, Sernam. The station, first isolated from the town, was equipped with a great staircase. The staircase was envisioned in 1911 and opened in 1926. It is bordered by African and Middle-East inspired statues.

A first extension was opened after World War II. The buildings on the northside had been destroyed and were rebuilt and housed the administration offices of the SNCF. A new between level was opened to enhance the flow of passengers.

At the end of the 1990s a redevelopment project began with the opening of the Marseille underground and bus interchange as well as the arrival of the TGV Méditerranée. Since 2001 new underground parking lots and a tunnel creation allowed the train station to be renewed. A new hall, the Halle Honnorat, was created and hosts shops and services. The displacement of the regional coach station on the other side of the train station allowed a new pedestrian square to be created, between the station and the Aix-Marseille University site of Saint-Charles. New pedestrian spaces with cafe terraces have also been created atop of the great stairs.

Station layout

Saint-Charles has 14 terminal platforms and 4 tracks which run through, all equipped with 1500 DC overhead wire. Near the entrance to the station, track splits into two lines; towards Ventimiglia and the north as well as a single track line to Briançon. A single track branch line links Saint-Charles to the harbour station of La Joliette.


Many other regional trains serve the station.

Preceding station   SNCF   Following station
toward northern France
TGV Terminus
toward Genève-Cornavin
toward Nice-Ville
toward Nice-Ville
Intercités Terminus
toward Narbonne
TER Languedoc-Roussillon 3 Terminus
Terminus TER PACA 1
toward Hyères
toward Nice-Ville
Saint-Louis-Les Aygalades
toward Miramas
TER PACA 7 Terminus
toward Pertuis
toward Briançon

Important people

  • Paulin Talabot: started the Marseille-Avignon line.
  • Eugène Senès: architect of the stairway.


  • Timetables TER Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (French)

External links

Coordinates: 43°18′11″N 5°22′52″E / 43.30306°N 5.38111°E / 43.30306; 5.38111

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