Tuesday 20 October 2015
News from UIC Members

A new station for Nantes in 2019

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On Wednesday 7 October a press conference was held to present the planned new look for Nantes Station. Alongside representatives of the State, the Pays-de-la-Loire region and the city of Nantes, Patrick Ropert, Managing Director of SNCF Gares & Connexions, the stations division of French railways, gave details of this major architectural project, the work notably of the architect Rudy Ricciotti, designer of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseille, and the firm Demathieu & Bard.

More space for more services

With the number of people using the station expected to double by 2030, the Nantes transformation project is intended above all to increase station capacity. To maximise the space available, a new station on a mezzanine floor over the tracks will be constructed to link the two passenger buildings. This new station will provide services and shopping facilities for visitors, including reception and information services, a waiting room, and also newsagents, take-away outlets, restaurants. Accessibility will be optimised, with escalators, stairs and lifts, providing easy disabled access.

“Our plan for Nantes Station is to provide new reception and service areas for visitors while also connecting the station to the city. Tomorrow’s station must be free-flowing, attuned to the neighbourhood around it, like an urban village.” Patrick Ropert, Managing Director SNCF Gares & Connexions

Reintegrating the station in the city

Because a station is a key component of any land use plan, optimising its use allows it to open up to the city and draw added value from the additional services it offers. That is why this redevelopment project involves not just the station buildings but also the surrounding area. Three partnership projects have been launched to upgrade Nantes Station and the public areas to the north and south, so that everyone has easy access to the station, whatever type of transport they use:

  • Redevelopment of public areas and renovation of the tram track on the Gare Nord/Duchesse-Anne section;
  • Relocation of SNCF technical premises (Traction Unit Repair Centre – CREM);
  • Construction of a 500-space public car park south of the station (Gare Sud), in the “Euronantes” business district in the Pré-Gauchet priority development area.

This ambitious plan has been conceived to involve a minimum of disruption for users, with work staggered to enable services to be maintained. Trains will continue to run and passenger services will be provided, with ticket office opening hours unchanged. To the north, a forecourt dedicated to environmentally-friendly modes and public transport will be created between the station and the Jardin des Plantes (Botanic Garden). It will extend along Allée du Commandant Charcot as far as the Duchesse Anne – Château busway stop, thus linking up with the existing Nantes walkway. This new pedestrian zone will provide users of “green” modes of transport with a perfectly safe route from the station to the city centre, the Loire and Chantenay.

The Project

Estimated total cost: €58.9 million.
Dimensions: 160 metres long, 25 metres wide, with a 10-metre-high mezzanine floor
Main components: a glass and concrete structure resting on plant-shaped columns under an openwork roof.
Partners: European Regional Development Fund, the State, the Pays de la Loire Region, Nantes City, SNCF Gares & Connexions.
Consortium: the architect Rudy Ricciotti, specialists in civil engineering and building construction Demathieu & Bard, the Nantes firm Forma6.
The main stages: 2016 – studies, 2017 – ground-breaking, 2019 – completion.

A few details on Nantes Station
Nantes Station is the 6th largest station in France outside Paris. The five lines converging in it serve many regional areas. A total of 11.6 million passengers travel through it every year. It currently consists of two passenger buildings, one to the north, the other to the south, linked by underground passageways.

(Source: SNCF)

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