Paris and Lille stations to get security gates

Paris and Lille stations to get security gates
File photo:AFP
The French government announced on Tuesday that security gates will be installed at Paris and Lille train stations on the lines that head to Belgium and the Netherlands.

France's environment minister Segolene Royal announced the measure on Tuesday after support had grown for the extra security in the light of the Paris terror attacks.

French authorities are in the process of boosting security in several areas with transport being a key area.

In the aftermath of the November 13th attacks Royal suggested she would be in favour of installing security gates with metal detectors, as seen at airports, at train stations in the country.

The idea of installing security barriers was first raised after the foiled attack on Thalys train between Amsterdam and Paris in August.

Royal told France Inter radio on Tuesday that the gates would be installed by December 20th. Similar metal detectors will be installed at stations in Cologne, Amsterdam and Brussels for the services to Paris.

The Thalys trains to Amsterdam and Brussels leave from Gare du Nord which is also home to the Eurostar terminal.

They may yet be rolled out across France in the months to come.

Royal also said there further measures would be taken to increase security, including train tickets that must carry the passengers names, as is the case for airlines as well as barriers to make sure only passengers can access the platforms. 

SNCF chief Guillaume Pepy has said he is against putting metal detectors in French stations across the country and would rather see SNCF security staff given the green light to carry arms.

“If the stations become like airports, that would mean people have to arrive, not just ten minutes before a train leaves, but an hour before. So it's a real change society, “he said.

Pepy also wants to avoid a situation where France's main lines such as the TGV, the Thalys and the Eurostar are prioritised in terms of security and the regional trains become vulnerable as a result.


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