IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES. SNCF: the RER E extension to Nanterre finally inaugurated

By James Gregoire
Published on

7 May 24 at 6:04

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“15% less traffic on the RER A and 10% less on the RER B. The forecasts are very optimistic from Valérie Pécresse. The president of the Île-de-France region and Île-de-France Mobilités was present, this Monday May 6, 2024in the first RER E which connects Haussmann-Saint-Lazare to Nanterre-la-Folie station, its new terminus in Hauts-de-Seine, after a first inauguration of the new La Défense station Friday May 3.

An off-peak test to start

First stage of the Éole project, which plans to extend the RER E to Yvelines, serving the small suburb of western Paris is essential: “It will be very appreciable for all travelers, because we will be able to go from Gare du Nord to La Défense directly, without having to go through Châtelet,” adds Valérie Pécresse. She is delighted that the Parisian sectors RERs are relieved of congestion thanks to this extension.

Valérie Pécresse was able to admire the new display, which will flourish from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the RER E platforms. (©JG / news Paris)

However, the connection will not be direct and you will always have to make a change. To go west with the RER E from the east, you will have to go down in Magenta or Haussmann-Saint-Lazare. A necessary correspondence “until the end of the year 2024when we will have a complete service,” explains Alain Ribat, director of the Transilien network.

Indeed, the section between Magenta and Nanterre-la-Folie will, for the moment, only be operational during periods of lower traffic, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. “It’s easier to test trains at off-peak times than at peak times,” says Valérie Pécresse on this subject. “Sometimes we rush a little too much to open the lines and it doesn’t work very well,” she explains, taking the example of the T12 tram, which had experienced a certain number of problems when it was launched.

The tunnel linking Haussmann-Saint-Lazare to the west of Paris is now functional. (©JG / news Paris)

An entry into modernity

For the moment, all trains run on this axis but eventually, the RER E NG (New Generation) will replace the old rolling stock and will be the only one to circulatefrom Tournan-en-Brie to La Défense.

These modern trains promise to offer a unique user experience. At 120 km/h, we can already see travelers swaying from right to left in the tunnel between Haussmann and Porte Maillot. There will be 34 “New Generation” trainsets which will be delivered at the end of 2024, for a amount of 3.75 billion euros.

The buildings surround a station which will see many students pass through.
The buildings surround a station which will see many students pass through. (©JG / news Paris)

These new train models combined with serving a major business hub will “double the number of travelers. We are currently at 350,000 people transported per day. We expect 700,000 travelers at the end of the year,” explains Valérie Pécresse.

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And the RERs are not the only ones to take the turn of modernity. “It’s no longer a station, it’s a cathedral,” slips the president of Île-de-France Mobilités, amazed by the new Nanterre-la-Folie station. Surrounded by buildings which impress both by their height and their modernity, this station must also accommodate line 15 of the Grand Paris Express.

The La Défense RER E station shines with its sober modernity.
The La Défense RER E station shines with its sober modernity. (©JG / news Paris)

The first step of an even bigger project

The entrance is via a construction reminiscent of the Grande Arche de la Défense: “It’s true that a station which has a hole is not usual”, confides Valérie Pécresse, observing all perforations in the structure who draw a mosaic representing Paris and its little crown. We can see the light diodes inside them. “It’s poetic. We want to come at night,” continues the regional president.

At night, the diodes promise a dreamlike and Parisian spectacle.
At night, the diodes promise a dreamlike and Parisian spectacle. (©JG / news Paris)

Like many projects, the Paris 2024 Olympics served as an accelerator. “We absolutely wanted to open it for the Games, because it’s going to be quite useful. We will be able to make connections with Porte Maillot and La Défense,” confirms Valérie Pécresse.

“It comes at the right time for the Games but also to change the lives of Ile-de-France residents,” she concludes. This inauguration is only a first step before finalizing the RER E westward extension project. In 2026it should be extended to Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines).

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