In the hearth of Europe, known as the Paris-London-Brussels triangle, the Metropolitan area of Lille is located, with around 1.2 million inhabitants. After the opening of the Northern TGV network in 1993 and the Channel tunnel (or tunnel sous la Manche) in 1994, the Lille metropolis started a continuous process of development, especially in the area around the stations of Lille Europe and Lille Flandres, also known as the Euralille neighbourhood.
These two stations are located at the top of the French TGV network. These two railway station are positioned at the crossroad of the Railteam network which is the European High speed network. The two railway stations are very close to each other at about 500 meters. In between there is a big city commercial centre named Euralille.
The Lille Flandres Railway Station is an old construction structure station inside the city of Lille very close to the main square of Lille, and near the old part of Lille. This station opened in the 19th century in 1848. Its façade is the previous “Gare du Nord” from Paris that has been reconstructed in Lille in 1867.
It counts 17 platforms and has a traffic of 17 million passengers per year (2008) and 80,000 daily passengers. It is the second regional train traffic station in France. The Lille Flandres railway station deserve the regional towns with regional trains named TER (Express Regional Trains). It also links in one hour Lille to Paris with direct TGV trains.
It has a lot of connexions with the urban transport network with the Metro VAL line 1 (light underground), two tramway lines regular bus routes and one specific bus route Citadine that deserve the two railway station and a circle route inside Lille. It also counts a special “navette” bus to link the Lille airport.
It also recently offers bikes in free access stations named V’Lille and a watch out bike garage which is free for public transport passengers.
The Lille Europe Railway station is a very modern railway station constructed to host the Northern TGV trains on the high speed railway network. It is part of the new part of Lille with high buildings named Euralille Neighbourhood. It opened in 1994 with the opening of the Channel tunnel and the northern TGV network. It has a daily traffic of 8,500 passengers.
It counts 4 platforms with a central 2 railway lines for passing through Eurostar trains coming from Paris and going directly to London. It connects Lille to Paris by TGV, and to Brussels and London with the Eurostar trains.
It also deserve the other French region by TGV trains that go directly to the South (Lyon, Marseille) or the East (Strasbourg). It also deserve the Western parts of France by means of trains that go around Paris and after westwards.All the TGV stop at the international airport of Roissy Charles De Gaulle when going to the south.
This Lille Europe station also deserve regional high speed trains named TER-GV to link the Côte d’Opale coastal area and the cities of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne sur Mer.
Lille Europe railway station is well connected to the urban public transports with the metro VAL line 2, two tramway lines and regular urban buses. For these two railway stations is exist paying parking facilities.
The transport authorities for the regional trains supply is the regional council. The operator is SNCF and the tracks are under the property of RFF (Réseau Ferré de France; The transport authority for the urban public transport is the Lille Metropole Urban community.
Going back to the Euralille project, it has promoted an important pole of economic activities within an urban area of around 130 hectares and future developments are still envisaged.
Nowadays, Euralille has achieved the following facts:14,000 jobs, more than 2,400 lodgments for 4,000 inhabitants. It counts 20 hectares of green areas, Major cultural and social equipment like many exhibition, and concert centres, the casino Thanks to the railway stations it is at 1:20 from London, 1 h from Paris and 38 minutes from Brussels.
Lille Flandres railway station
source : structurae.de
The Lille Europe Railway station outside in the Euralille New Neighbourhood
The two Lille railway station situation with other transport modes