Since the opening of the Channel Tunnel and its associated high-speed lines, it is now possible to travel by train from London to Paris in about two hours. For many passengers, arrival at the Gare du Nord is their first experience of the French capital. Yet this great station is just one of seven surviving city centre termini, each one served by trains linking Paris with a different part of France.
In words and pictures this book aims to chart the history of these Parisian landmarks, explore their magnificent architecture, and take a look at their train services and passenger facilities. Vintage postcards, twentieth-century photographs and modern digital images capture the changing face of the stations as they have evolved from the steam age to modern traction and TGV high-speed services and as they have been modernised to cater for the needs of today's passengers.
Above all, the pictures show how these stations are thronged with people - commuters, long-distance passengers, overnight travellers - needing to buy tickets, obtain information, consume refreshments, find the right train, or just wait around amid all the architectural grandeur, a perfect mix of art and humanity.