Gare Montparnasse

Gare Montparnasse
SNCF TGV TER Transilien

Montparnasse exterior
Location Place Raoul-Dautry, 75015
Montparnasse, Paris
Coordinates 48°50′24″N 2°19′07″E / 48.84000°N 2.31861°E / 48.84000; 2.31861Coordinates: 48°50′24″N 2°19′07″E / 48.84000°N 2.31861°E / 48.84000; 2.31861
Elevation 63 m (207 ft)
Owned by RFF / SNCF
Operated by SNCF
Line(s) Paris–Brest railway
Other information
Fare zone 1 (Public transport fares in the Île-de-France)
Opened 10 September 1840
Passengers (2002) 50 million
Preceding station   SNCF   Following station
toward western and southwestern France
toward Granville
TerminusTER Basse-Normandie 2
toward Granville
TerminusTER Haute-Normandie
toward L'Aigle
toward Le Mans
TER Pays de la Loire 23Terminus
TerminusTransilien Transilien Paris – Montparnasse

Gare Montparnasse (French pronunciation: [ɡaʁ mɔ̃paʁnas]) is one of the six large Paris railway termini, in the 14th arrondissement and 15th arrondissement of Paris. It was opened in 1840, rebuilt in 1852, and then rebuilt completely further south in 1969. A steam train crashed through the station in 1895; there is a well-known photograph of the event, and full scale reproductions outside a museum chain in South America.[1]

It is used by intercity TGV trains to the west and south-west of France including Tours, Bordeaux, Rennes and Nantes, and by suburban and regional services on the Transilien Paris – Montparnasse routes. There is also a metro station.


The station opened in 1840 as Gare de l'Ouest,[2] later being renamed. A second station was built between 1848 and 1852.

On 25 August 1944, the German military governor of Paris, General von Choltitz, surrendered his garrison to the French General Philippe Leclerc at the old station, after disobeying Adolf Hitler's direct order to destroy the city (see Liberation of Paris).

During the 1960s, a newer station integrated into a complex of office buildings was built. In 1969, the old station was torn down and the Tour Montparnasse built on its site. An extension was built in 1990 to host the TGV Atlantique.

1895 derailment

Granville–Paris Express wreck on October 22, 1895.

The Gare Montparnasse became famous for the derailment on October 22, 1895, of the Granville–Paris Express, which overran the buffer stop. The engine careered across almost 30 metres (100 ft) of the station concourse, crashed through a 60-centimetre (2 ft) thick wall, shot across a terrace and smashed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes 10 metres (33 ft) below, where it stood on its nose. Two of the 131 passengers sustained injuries, along with the fireman and two conductors. The only fatality was a woman on the street below, Marie-Augustine Aguilard, who was temporarily taking over her husband's work duty while he went out to get the newspapers. She was killed by falling masonry.[3] The railway company later paid for her funeral and provided a pension to look after her two children. The accident was caused by a faulty Westinghouse brake and the engine driver, who was trying to make up lost time.[4] A conductor was given a 25-franc fine and the engine driver a 50-franc fine.

Replicas of the train crash are recreated outside the Mundo a Vapor ("Steam World") museum chain buildings in Brazil, in the southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, in the city of Canela.[5]

Train services

From Paris Montparnasse train services depart to major French cities such as: Le Mans, Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Brest, Saint-Malo, Vannes, Lorient, Quimper, Angers, Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Tours, Poitiers, La Rochelle, Angoulême, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Bayonne and Granville. The station is also served by suburban trains heading to the west and south-west of Paris.

Lines serving this station

Adjacent metro station:

Nearby station:

See also


  1. Train Wreck Replica, retrieved 4 March 2009
  2. Musee Orsay, retrieved 9 July 2009
  3. Danger Ahead, retrieved 4 March 2009
  4. Let's pause for a station break on Failure Magazine
  5. The Trainwreck Industry, retrieved 4 March 2009
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