This guide to using Lyon Part-Dieu train station will help make sense of what can be a bewildering space.
In an effort to make Lyon Part-Dieu less confusing a major program of construction work has commenced at the station.
During this time different parts of the station will be sequentially closed off AND the usual routes through the station and to/from the trains MAY be subject to diversion.
All of the info describes the USUAL means of navigating the station and accessing the trains.
What makes Lyon Part-Dieu a somewhat confusing railway station for first time users, is that the building which houses the station has a dual function.
It isn't solely a station, it is also a passage way, which links two popular parts of the city and connects some of the tram stops at Part-Dieu to its Metro station.
As a result Lyon Part-Dieu station can feel busy and somewhat chaotic.
Compounding this is the fact that the voie (platform/track) that each train will be leaving from isn’t usually confirmed until around 15 mins before departure.
So the ground level concourse/passage area often becomes crowded with people waiting for trains.
You will enter Lyon Part-Dieu station either by its Porte Rhône or its Porte Alples entrances.
They are located at either end of the large and wide passage way that runs beneath the voies/platforms/tracks; this passage way houses all of the station facilities.
The crowds can bewilder, but the signposting is excellent, so navigating the station is fairly straightforward.
Though something to keep in mind is that at Lyon Part-Dieu the voies (platforms/tracks) are assigned letters and NOT numbers.
Which can be confusing because each voie (platform/track) is divided into repéres (zones) and these zones are also marked by letters.
On the platforms the zone letters are bigger than those that indicate which voie (platform/track) it is.
Lyon Part-Dieu has a left luggage office instead of lockers - so you have to process the depositing of any bags with the attendant.
The instructions can get somewhat lost in translation, but when I was last there, the staff couldn’t have been more helpful.
At Lyon Part-Dieu train station the Billetterie/ticket office is divided into two separate offices.
(1) The larger office is for tickets for trains that are departing that day.
The queues can be lengthy - so give the yellow ticket machines a try, they’re relatively easy to use with good English translation.
More info on using the machines is available on our GUIDE to using French train stations.
At busy times there will be SNCF staff available, who speak English, to assist with using these machines. .
But you can only do that on the day you will be travelling.
(2) The smaller booking office, where the staff sit at numbered counters, is where you need to go to make any other advance booking/reservation.
You also need to use this office if you want to collect pre-booked tickets, or make rail pass reservations ahead of your travel date.
In this ticket office you take a number and then wait for it to be called.
A major reconstruction program has now commenced at Lyon Part-Dieu - the general info on our guide below won't be affected by these changes, but what will differ periodically, is the access routes to the voies (platforms/tracks) that the trains depart from.
When taking a train from Lyon Part-Dieu train station you USUALLY need to take the following steps:
(1) Check the information on your ticket, in particular the departure time and the four digit train number.
You'll find this number on your ticket, below the station you will be travelling to and to the right of the type of train you will be travelling by.
The main departure board does not show every station that trains will be calling, but it does show the departure times and the train numbers; so If need be, match the train number on your ticket to the train number on the board.
There are no paper departure posters at Lyon Part-Dieu, on which you can check the details of where trains will be heading and at what time.
(2) Confirm which voie (platform/track) your train will be departing from using the electronic train departure screens.
More info is about understanding these screens is available on our GUIDE to using French stations.
There are large black indicators by each of the main entrances - and smaller blue screens scattered around the station.
Watch the screens carefully, the voie (platform/track) is usually not confirmed until around 10-15 mins before departure; which can prompt a stampede, but take your time.
At Lyon Part-Dieu the voies (platforms/tracks) are assigned letters and not numbers .
(3) There are escalators and lifts up to each voie (track/platform).
The staircases, which are a dominant feature of the station, are mainly for the use of travellers arriving by train.
If you have a ticket issued by a machine or ticket office don't forget to stamp it in the machines before heading up to the voie.
It can be a good idea to do this when you first arrive at the station.
(4) On the voie (platform/track) there will be an electronic next train to depart screen - this will show all the stations that the train will be calling at.
It also shows which carriage/coach of the train will occupy each zone/repére on the voie (platform/track) when it arrives.
The voies (platforms/tracks) are divided into zones marked by letters - and at Part-Dieu these letters on the signs are larger than the letters, which indicate which voie you are on.
(5) Boarding the train will be much easier if you are waiting in the appropriate zone/repére when the train arrives.
If you will be travelling by TGV, the voiture (coach) number that your reserved seat(s) is located in, will be on your ticket.
So look for it on your ticket - and match it to the coach numbers on this departure screen.
A major reconstruction program has now commenced at Lyon Part-Dieu - the general info on our guide below won't be affected by these changes, but what will differ periodically, is the access routes FROM the voies (platforms/tracks) that the trains arrive
If you don’t have luggage - the quickest routes to the exits is to take the stairs down to the concourse beneath the platforms.
If you do have luggage etc. then don’t follow the crowds, there are escalators and lifts available.
There are TWO MAIN EXITS from the station;
(1) The Porte Rhône exit
The Metro station is outside the Porte Rhône exit - over to the right.
Also use the Porte Rhône exit if you want to transfer to tram line T1 - this tram goes to Perrache station (direction Debourg).
(2) The Porte Alpes exit
Use the Porte Alpes exit if you want to take tram lines, T3 and T4 - or take the Rhônexpress tram to the airport.
If you are changing trains, check the blue screens that show the subsequent departures, - before exiting the voie (platform/track).
If you’re fortunate, your next train may also be departing from the same voie (platform/track) that your train has just arrived at.
Lyon has two main railway stations and its other main station is Lyon Perrache station.
Lyon Perrache is closer to the city centre and old town district, while Lyon Part-Dieu station is to the east of the city centre, in the main business area.
So before making the train journey to Lyon, check the location of your final destination in the city and purchase tickets/a ticket to either Lyon-Part-Dieu OR Lyon Perrache
If you have a ticket valid to Part-Dieu, it technically won’t be valid for the journey on to Perrache
Lyon Perrache is on Line A of the Lyon Metro (which connects to Line C) - while Part-Dieu is on Line B.
If your final destination in the city CENTRE has easy access to line A; and your train calls at Part-Dieu, before it arrives at Perrache, don't leave the train at Part-Dieu.
Instead buy a ticket to Perrache and make the transfer to the Metro there.
It will be faster than leaving the train and Part Dieu and then also making a transfer between Metro lines.
The easiest option for making the transfer between the two main railway stations in Lyon is to take a train between Part-Dieu and Perrache, but there can be gaps of nearly an hour between departures.
There is no direct Metro line between Part-Dieu and Perrache stations, so not only do you have to change lines, making the transfer at Charpennes Charles-Hernu station; the metro is also a roundabout route.
Charpennes Charles-Hernu is to the north of Part-Dieu, but Perrache is actually located to the west; hence, when no train is due, using the tram is a better option than taking the metro.
If no trains for Perrache are departing from Part-Dieu within the next 25 - 30mins, it will be quicker to take the tram, rather than waiting for a train.
Trams on line T1 (direction Debourg) depart from every 5-10mins from the 'Vivier Merle' tram stop._
Use the Porte Rhône exit from station and this tram stop is to the right of the pedestrian area in front of the station - the Place Charles Beraudier.
When you arrive at Perrache the tram stop is nearer the bus station, but the bus station is linked to the train station by a walkway at an upper level.
The easiest access to the historic Fourviére area from Part Dieu is to:
(1) take Metro line B (direction Ouillins) two stops to Saxe Gambetta station - where you can make transfer to Metro Line D (direction Vaise).
(2) From Saxe Gambetta station, take the Metro Line D three stops to Vieux Lyon station.
(3) At Vieux Lyon station connect into the funicular for Fourviére.
Lyon’s Saint-Exupéry Airport isn’t linked to Lyon’s Metro, but an express tram service, the Rhônexpress, provides a direct link between the airport and Part-Dieu station - the journey takes around 30 mins.
FROM PART-DIEU: The Rhônexpress tram stop is outside the Porte Alpes exit, as you leave the station building, the tram stop is on the far right.
FROM SAINT EXUPÉRY: The tram stop is just outside Lyon Saint-Exupéry TGV station - a moving walkway connects the airport terminals to.the station.
If Lyon Saint-Exupéry TGV is the only station call your train is making in the Lyon area, you can use the Rhônexpress to transfer to Part-Dieu station.
From the airport to Lyon city centere:
The Rhônexpress also calls at Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie station - where transfer is possible to Lyon Metro Line A.
If you’re travelling between Saint-Exupery and the city centre, making this connection into Metro Line A here, is a quicker and easier option than taking the Rhônexpress from/to Part-Dieu.
France's second city is inevitably packed with attractions, which make a train trip to Lyon worthwhile.
Top Things To Do In Lyon (Lonely Planet)
15 Recommendations from a Lyon Resident (Ashley Abroad)
Unusual Attractions in Lyon (Atlas Obscura)
15 Top Rated Attractions (Planet Ware)
10 Free Things To Do In Lyon (The Good Life France)
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.