Talking Headways: How France Melds High-Speed Rail With Cities, Part 2

The plan for local transit lines connecting to the new Bordeaux Saint Jean Belcie HSR station. Map: < a href="http://www.bordeaux-euratlantique.fr/territoire-de-projets/projet-st-jean-belcier/">Bordeaux Euratlantique
The plan for local transit lines connecting to the new Bordeaux Saint Jean Belcie HSR station. Map: Bordeaux Euratlantique

In part two of our discussion of French high-speed rail and cities, guest host and German Marshall Fund fellow Eric Eidlin interviews Stephan de Fay, executive director of Bordeaux Euratlantique, the public agency overseeing the redevelopment of Bordeaux’s main train station to accommodate several new high-speed rail lines by 2020, and Etienne Tricaud, president and CEO of AREP, the French railway’s architecture office.

The conversation covers how France approaches infrastructure projects of national significance, the challenges of building the Grand Paris Express rail expansion, and the latent opportunities of San Jose’s Diridon station.

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At Bourg-la-Reine, outside Paris, the rail station is surrounded by dense, mixed-use development and walkable streets. Image: Google Maps

What American Commuter Rail Can Learn From Paris, Part 2

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In Europe it's common for regional rail systems to get ridership comparable to that of the subway in the central city. But in America, this is unheard of. One reason for the discrepancy is land use: American commuter rail stations are typically surrounded by parking, while in the Paris region you see a different pattern with ample development next to suburban train stations.