A poorly situated and difficult to access station

Destroyed during the Second World War bombings, Lorient station was rebuilt at the end of the 1950’s. Mainly for budgetary reasons it was rebuilt in its original place: separated from the city centre by the railway. This made it difficult to access. Whether on foot or by car or public transport, it was necessary to take a detour to reach it. In fact many visitors had trouble finding it.


A disadvantage for the city

The landlocked station hindered development of the city. In the neighbouring area activity did not take off, wasteland remained. Whereas elsewhere in France intermodality was organised around stations, at Lorient it was virtually inexistent. Due to its poor access, congestion increased around the station.
For visitors arriving on the train, it was complicated to locate the city centre and to reach it.


A pedestrian bridge as a band-aid solution

The difficult access to the station encouraged passengers to take risks and cross the tracks to save themselves a long detour. In order to remedy this situation, a pedestrian bridge was installed in the early 1990s along with the arrival of the high-speed train. It links the train station and L’Orientis centre which turned into a business place. It spanned the tracks and linked the city centre to the passenger building but it was only a quick fix for pedestrians and bus users.


A decision for the future: to build a new station to rethink the attractivity of a whole neighbourhood

Faced with the extent of the problem, seven rail and institutional stakeholders (Lorient city and conurbation, Brittany region, Morbihan department, the French State, SNCF Gares & Connexions and SNCF Réseau) got together. On 25 June 2013 they signed a contract formalising a radical transformation: a new station would be built on the other side of the tracks for a total of 58.38 million euros. This project was conceived in parallel with an urban development plan, which included the creation of a new district, Lorient Odyssée, on 15.7 hectares of wasteland to the north of the tracks, and the creation of a multimodal highway to link the neighbourhoods to the south of the tracks and those to the north.



The new station, a future attractive centre for 2.5 million visitors per year

Bigger, more modern, and easily accessible, the new station was inaugurated on 17 May 2017.
An architectural masterpiece by AREP. Its new passenger building houses 200 m2 of convenience stores, as well as the post office, and the future local employment mission. A multimodal hub was also created on the station forecourt.
The station’s mission is to accommodate a 150% increase in passenger traffic by 2020. An increase caused as much by the arrival of the Brittany high-speed train in July 2017 as by the high increase in regional train journeys (+65% for the Lorient/Quimper, Vannes and Rennes links between 2005 and 2013).



The station neighbourhood, an urban transformation

The station is now a major player in the Lorient of tomorrow. The old station has been demolished and the surrounding neighbourhood is revitalised. Unfolding to the north of the tracks is the new Lorient Odyssée neighbourhood, designed by urban architect Nicolas Michelin. It hosts 42 000 m2 of housing, 3 000 m2 of offices, 28 000 m2 of shops and services, to cater for 1 200 new residents. To the south of the tracks a multimodal hub unites all of the city’s modes of transport.