Saint Charles is the main railway station of Marseille.
It is a terminus and 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.
Saint-Charles Station main staircase
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
Le Grand Escalier and the boulevard d'Athènes in
seen from Saint-Charles Train Station
The station firstly isolated from the town was equipped by a
great staircase, was thought of in 1911 and opened un 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 and redevelopement project began with the
opening of the underground and bus interchange as well as the
arrival of the TGV.
A new passenger concourse was opened below the administration
offices to link the station with the transport interchange. This
is due to open at the end of 2006.
Saint-Charles has dead end 14 platforms and 4 tracks leaving
it, all equipped with 1500 DC overhead wire. Near the entrance to
the station, track splits into two lines; towards Vintimille and
the North as well as a single track line to Briançon. A single
track branchline links Saint-Charles to the harbour station of La
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