Sunday, 29 January 2017

Perrache P.S. Deuxième Partie

No Longer Up But Under?
Thanks to the wonders of Google Streetview we can explore much of the "Gare Perrache" without the expense of a trip to Lyon. The best way to understand the station is to start from the southern entrance.
We can virtually alight from Tram 1 at the Suchet stop on Cours Charlemagne ...
.... and walk forward.
One flight of escalators takes us to platform level but with no way in.
We need another escalate to gain access to the main footbridge with crosses the station from South to North.
Arriving from the north (Place Carnot) we also need the escalators.
Perhaps the best way to understand things is to list the various levels and their purpose.

Basement Level
Bus Station of seven echelon bays.
This is a busy place, but gloomy and dismal.

Ground Level
Metro and Tram Station.
Tram 1 (above right) continues southbound through one of the ancient tunnels under the platforms. Tram 2 (above left) terminates taking its layover in the "virgule" (comma)  very tight curved siding. 
Metro Line A terminates on the same level.

Platform Level
No access to trains. Long distance coaches and a few local routes call here.

Level 1
Here is a continuation of the station footbridge and the main pedestrian access to all modes of transport
Note that, having ascended to this level, you now need to descend to find any actual transport! There is a mezzanine deck with toilets, offices and other useful but uninteresting stuff.

Level 2
Shopping. (Yawn) But it does have one of these.

Level 3
Splendid but largely unused roof gardens.
Maybe roof gardens enhanced with the fumes from the motorway was less attractive than the architects intended?

For completeness we need to record that several of these levels also have lumps of multi-storey car park.

But there is a cunning plan. After much local debate, arguing for either demolition or refurbishment, the current plan is to make dramatic changes to the layout and access of all the transport facilities. The core of the plan revolves (not literally!) round one of the three tunnels under the station which has existed since construction in 1855.
Currently used by service vehicles ...
... this is to become part of a clear and uncluttered public pathway and cycleway from South to North.
The escalators (highlighted earlier) will disappear and there will be access to the station from the new tunnel.
The walk and cycle route will continue at ground level for Metro and Tram ...
... with escalators up to the platform and "traditional" station entrance levels. The exit at the north, again sans escalators, is on the level and into Place Carnot.
At Platform Level all the old covered walkway clutter will go, restoring the station frontage to the glory that was intended when it was built.
To add to this positive regeneration, we also have the consequences of downgrading the A6 from motorway status to "ordinary" road. Replacing the Cours de Verdun on the north of its former avenue cannot be achieved, but ...
... proposals are being discussed to remove the 1970s motorway clutter and replace it, in part at least, with tree-line avenues similar to those destroyed by the so-called progress of 45 years ago.
Getting rid of this lot really is progress, surely?

There is, on the station footbridge, a sombre reminder of the consequences of the German occupation of France during World War 2.
It commemorate the mass murder of Jews and members of the Resistance after deportation by train on 11th August 1944.

Coming up : a trip to Ashford in Kent and a review of the latest tranche of changes in Sheffield.

 Next bus blog : Monday 30th January 

1 comment:

  1. It is very pleasing to read that the original station frontage will be restored to its former glory, and that the motorway is to be downgraded. I stayed in the (faded) ex-railway (now Mercure) hotel next to the station a few years ago - my room had a great view of operations in the station, but the dining-room was virtually on the hard-shoulder of the 'Autoroute du Soleil'.The noise from the traffic thundering past was unbelievable!
    If you are looking for another French topic for a post, I suggest looking at Montpellier which I re-visted last year. I was very impressed by the improvements made to the station there, including removing a lot of the 70s rubbish. The tram system is also fantastic - a further section had just opened on my visit which completes a city 'loop'. Work on the new TGV station had stalled, however, with doubts about traffic forecasts and finance.