This guide to the main station in Toulouse explains what to look out for when departing and arriving by train and connects you to all the relevant info.
Toulouse-Matabiau train station is typical of many large French stations/gares meaning that it is beautiful, but awkward to use particularly if you have luggage.
That’s because voies (platforms) 2 – 11 are linked to the main station buildings by two passage ways that run beneath the platforms.
However, if your train arrives at or departs from voies (platforms/tracks) 2 – 7; and the majority of long distance express trains use these voies (platforms) you have to use the stairs to transfer between the train and exits.
That's because there are no escalators on voies 2-7, though there are elevators on voies 8 - 11, though these elevators are provided for travellers who require mobility assistance,
The passage way across the centre of the station, which is accessed by stairs on voies 2-7 and both elevators and stairs on voies 8 - 11, leads to the part of the station where the car hire desks and taxi ranks are located
At its station buildings end, it has stairs and one escalator, usually switched so that its upwards to the entrances and exits.
The other passage way is at the eastern end of the station, towards the front of trains which have arrived from Paris or Bordeaux and by the rear of trains which arrive from Marseille and Montpellier.
It can only be accessed from all of the voies (platforms/tracks) by staircases, but it has two escalators which link it to the main hall at the station (Hall 2), so the access to the station facilities is step-free.
This passage also houses the somewhat hidden access to the Metro station named 'Marengo', its entrance is between voies 6-7 and 8-9.
Because this passage way leads off from the main hall, it becomes the more obvious route to take when departing by train, but if you do need to use the elevators to access voies 8-11, it's worth being aware that the elevator access is in the other smaller departure hall (Hall 1).
A corridor across the front of the station links the two departure halls and it is where the ticket desks are located.
Voie (platforms) 1, 1a and 1b, which only used by TER trains, have step-free access from either departure hall, but they are closer to the smaller departure hall (Hall 1).
The Metro station at Toulouse-Matabiau is named 'Marengo'.
The entrance to Marengo station is in the passage way which runs beneath the railway lines and connects the main departure hall to the voies (platforms/tracks)
This main passage way is accessed from zone/repére X; if your train has arrived from Bordeaux or Paris, this passage way will be at the front of the train, if you have arrived from the Narbonne/Perpignan direction it will be at the rear of the train.
When descending from voies/platforms 2 – 5, the Marengo metro station entrance is out of sight over to the left, it's somewhat anonymous entrance is between voies 6-7 and 8-9.
So don’t ascend into the main concourse if you will be transferring to the Metro.
If your train arrives at voies/platforms 1, 1a or 1b, you will need to access this main passage way on the station concourse in order to make your way down towards the Metro.
Toulouse-Matabiau station is some distance from the city centre, the Place du Capitole is 15-20 min walk along Rue de Bayard and Rue de Remusat.
The station is served by Marengo station on Metro Line A.
So when looking up public transport connections to/from Toulouse-Matabiau on journey planners, use Marengo and NOT Matabiau as your start or end point,
On the public transport map look for Marengo/SNCF.
The entrance to the Marengo station is located in the main passage way that runs beneath the platforms/voie.
For the heart of the city take the Metro (direction Basso Cambo) to Capitole metro station.
For Tolouse Cathedral the simplest route is to take Metro Line A (direction Basso Cambo) one stop to Jean Jaures station and transfer there to Metro Line B (direction Ramonvile).
Then take Metro Line B one stop to Francois Verdier station.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel 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.