Photo credit (banner): Maxime Huriez / SNCF

Open archives

Explore SNCF’s history through a curated collection of documents, films and historic photographs—all available on line.

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Our Open Archives website

As part of our commitment to transparency, in 2012 we launched an unprecedented campaign to release SNCF data to the public.

From our Open Archives website, you can retrace the history of transport and rail in France through a wealth of images from the SNCF archives.

The collection contains:

  • over 1,739 images
  • 370 written documents
  • 86 videos
  • 37 fully digitized sounds

Retrace SNCF’s history

Explore over 2,000 images, documents, videos and fully digitized sounds on our Open Archives website.

Learn more (French)

  • Auto/Train service at Boulogne-Maritime station: an SNCF employee greets passengers before their car is loaded onto the train.

  • Passenger building at Denain station in northern France: drawings showing positioning of clock faces, casings, rods and other clockmaking accessories.

  • Paris Saint-Lazare station: view of the shopping arcade, where clocks often served as an advertising medium.

  • Hair salon coach aboard the Mistral 69 (Trans-Europ-Express Inox), a fast, stainless-steel train that linked Paris to Nice from 1950 to 1982.

  • Electrification works (25kv-50Hz) begin on the Nord network. Here, two catenary specialists install pendulums on the line from Fives to Hirson via Valenciennes.

  • Paris Saint-Lazare station: mainline concourse

  • This document provided timetables, itineraries and composition of Express trains in both English and French.