Gare La Défense Grande Arche RER E

Eole Cnit La Défense
  • Transports
  • On going

In short

Developer: Paris La Défense
Project owner: SNCF Réseau
Financers: State, IDF Region, Société du Grand Paris, City of Paris, Hauts-de-Seine Department, Yvelines Department, Ile-de-France Mobilités, SNCF Réseau
Contractor (lead consortium): Vinci Construction
Project managers: Setec, Egis, Duthilleul
Program: creation of a station as part of the extension of the RER E to the west
Location : Arche Nord - Parvis de La Défense - Under the CNIT (Puteaux)
Start of works: 2015
Commissioning: 2024

Arrival of RER line E at La Défense in April 2024

Declared to be in the public interest on January 31, 2013, the RER E extension project aims to strengthen connections between the east and west of the Paris region by offering a new quality of service.

The Eole project consists of extending the current RER E line by 55 km to the west, from Haussmann Saint-Lazare station to Mantes-la-Jolie station, passing through the La Défense business district and Nanterre. 47 km of existing track between Mantes-la-Jolie (Line J Paris-Mantes via Poissy) and Nanterre will be upgraded and modernized. An 8 km tunnel will be dug between La Défense and Haussmann Saint-Lazare, the current terminus of the RER E.

The project will be accompanied by the creation of three stations (Porte Maillot, La Défense Grande Arche and Nanterre La Folie) and will cross three departments (Paris, Hauts-de-Seine and Yvelines). In total, more than 650,000 passengers per day will benefit from this new line once it is fully operational.

Creation of the new line E station: La Défense Grande Arche

Located in the heart of the La Défense business district, the future La Défense Grande Arche station will make a major contribution to the development of the business district: a new-generation line, more trains, and a new station with an impressive volume that will be able to accommodate large passenger flows. It will be the most interconnected line in the IDF, particularly at La Défense, with the L and U lines of the Transilien, the RER A, the T2 tramway, line 1 of the metro and the future line 15 of the Grand Paris Express... A more direct and better connected link to the airports...

The future Eole station will be located under the CNIT, at a depth of more than 30 meters, and links and connections with the neighborhood and other transportation lines will be facilitated. It will be accessible via three independent entrances: near the Grande Arche and avenue Gambetta, in Courbevoie (next to the Mazars tower), at Place Carpeaux, on the forecourt, and through interconnections with other transport systems.

Access to the central platform of the RER E will be from a mezzanine overlooking the platform, thanks to the various fixed staircases, escalators and elevators that will be installed there. This level will be an interchange hall where the main accesses and connections will converge: RER A, T2 tramway, Transilien L & U lines, exits to the outside and to the CNIT.

The new station of the La Défense Grande Arche RER line will be put into service in April 2024, providing access to eastern Paris and the future Nanterre-la-Folie station to the west. It will then be extended westwards to Mantes-la-Jolie.

A technical challenge

The challenge for this project was to build an 18,000 m² underground station 32 meters below ground, and to create fast and fluid interconnections with other transport lines in the busiest multimodal station in France (connection to other transport lines) as well as direct access to the La Défense forecourt. The project will involve the redevelopment of the CNIT.

One of the challenges will be to implement solutions that limit noise pollution and the propagation of noise to the upper floors as much as possible. This is why an "acoustic sarcophagus" (floor, walls and ceiling) is enveloping the worksite under the CNIT. The work is being carried out through several exceptionally technical operations :

  • the provisional support of the CNIT was carried out
  • the underpinning of 120 columns
  • the excavation of the ground
  • the construction of the main station building, which is approximately 25 m high and over 200 m long
  • the creation of the connection areas with public transport and the CNIT
  • the creation of the various exits from the RER E, while ensuring that the station is accessible to people with reduced mobility (elevators, platforms, ramps, anti-slip devices and warning strips).

Construction site of the EOLE project at La Défense Grande Arche station, December 2022 © Setec / Egis / Duthilleul / Arep / Vincent Donnot

Construction site of the EOLE project at La Défense Grande Arche station, December 2022 © Setec / Egis / Duthilleul / Arep / Vincent Donnot

Benefits for passengers

  • A new RER to serve La Défense from east to west
  • 2 exits to reach the various neighborhoods around CNIT, 2 connections with transport services and direct access to CNIT
  • More trains, faster, more comfortable and more modern
  • A new station to accommodate large passenger flows and facilitate connections by providing new transit areas
  • A station and trains accessible to people with reduced mobility (elevators, escalators, trains at platform level, etc.)

A more important service

  • Time savings on your journey: for example, from Mantes-la-Jolie to La Défense in 40 minutes instead of 52 minutes, from La Défense to * Magenta in 10 minutes instead of 19 minutes today
  • Better coverage of the Ile-de-France network: more connections in Paris and, in particular, connections with the RER B and D lines at Magenta, easier access to airports
  • An RER that contributes to the improvement of other transport systems: desaturation of the RER A, B and D lines and the Saint-Lazare station
  • An interconnected station: RER A, metro line 1, Transilien L & U, T2 and the future line 15 of the Grand Paris

Construction schedule

  • 2016 : Preparatory work for the tunnel to La Défense: rerouting of networks, preparation for lowering the underground water table, preparation of the tunnel excavation shaft.
  • 2017 : Preparatory work, setting up the lowering of the water table, installation of the worksite, particularly under the CNIT, and modification of the CNIT foundations using the underpinning technique
  • 2018 - 2021 : creation of the new CNIT foundations ensuring the structure of the main body of the station, excavation and civil engineering of the station, and digging of the tunnels on both sides of the station
  • Mid-2021 - mid-2023 : Station finishing work and rail infrastructure equipment
  • 2023 to 2024 : testing and trial period
  • April 2024: entry into service, with trains initially running only during off-peak hours between Haussmann, Porte-Maillot, La Défense and Nanterre, before "normal" service begins the following autumn.

Click to enlarge

  • Eole CNIT Défense
  • Eole CNIT Défense
  • Eole CNIT Défense

Did you know ?

The station floor will be located 40 meters below ground. In total, more than 140,000 m3 of earth were excavated. Finally, it is as if the Montparnasse Tower had been laid under the CNIT.

For more information on the project :