DescriptionMarseille is the largest city in southeastern France (800,000 inhabitants, 1.2 million in the metropolitan area). It is an important harbour by the Mediterranean Sea.
The metro network consists of two rubber-tyred lines (pneu - like Lyon and some Paris lines), with a total length of 21.8 km (18.1 underground):
Stations usually have a very functional design, some are decorated thematically (for example, St. Charles - Railway Station shows a TGV high speed train on one side and a 19th century steam train on the other; Noailles shows old model trains, trams and trolleybuses; Notre-Dame du Mont has huge vegetables painted on the walls showing the way to the nearby market).
There are two transfer stations - at Castellane both lines cross perpendicularly with a short walk and an escalator between Lines 1 and 2. St. Charles (Central rail station) appears to be of the cross-platform interchange type, but there is an island platform for Line 1 on the inner tracks, and two side platforms for Line 2 on the outer tracks, which means that passengers have to run up and down the stairs in any of the possible transfer options! Apart from this inconvenience stations have no elevators although most stations have escalators.
Information panels are good and easy to read. On the trains stations are not announced, neither acoustically nor on a panel. There is an arrow showing which side to get off, but usually it's not illuminated before the train gets into the station.
12.9 km, 18 stations
- From a point halfway between Saint Just and Malpassé to Frais Vallon the line runs in the middle of a highway, after a short tunnel it continues on a viaduct to the terminus at La Rose. The rest of the line is underground.
22-11-1977: La Rose - St. Charles (6.3 km)
11-03-1978: St. Charles - Castellane (3 km)
05-09-1992: Castellane - La Timone (1.1 km)
06-05-2010: La Timone - La Fourragčre (2.5 km)
8.9 km, 12 stations
- This line ends on a viaduct at both sides, Bourgainville and Ste. Margarite - Dromel, the rest is underground.
03-03-1984: Castellane - Joliette (3.3 km)
01-02-1986: Castellane - Ste.Marguerite
14-02-1987: Joliette - Bourgainville (5.6 km)