Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Gare du Nord
As I mentioned, I was in France last month. I already blogged about the Gare de l'Est in Paris and now it's time to talk about the Gare du Nord.
The Gare du Nord ("north station") is quite large and serves local trains, long-distance trains to the north of France, as well as international trains to Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and of course the UK using Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel (incorrectly known as the "Chunnel").
The front of the station is quite imposing, with the big columns and statues.
Inside it is big and airy. It was quite busy all three times I was in the station, with many people standing around looking at the arrivals or departures boards, or shopping at the various vendors. The arrivals and departures boards are quite imposing.
One evening I took a walk through and shot some of the trains waiting at the platforms. Here's SNCF TGV trainsets 13 and 81 waiting at the platforms. Both sets are TGV Sud-Est types originally built for Paris-Lyons service. They carry a maximum of 345 passengers and most are capable of 300 km/hr travel on the dedicated TGV tracks, or 200 km/hr on normal track (lignes classiques).
I also saw a couple of Thalys trainsets, including set 4533 here. These are TGV Réseau sets dedicated to Thalys service between Paris and Amsterdam. You may remember I saw a Thalys train in Amsterdam back in 2008.
I have some more train photos from the Gare du Nord from my other visit and I will post them next.