How French rail services will be hit by this week’s strike

As part of a “rolling strike” by rail workers, rail travel will be disrupted once again on Wednesday and Thursday due to strikes. Here’s what to expect.

How French rail services will be hit by this week's strike
Photo: AFP

Last week rail network SNCF put into action what it calls “rolling strikes” to continue every Wednesday and Thursday up until the Euro 2016 championships in June.

What will be the impact?

On Wednesday and Thursday in the Paris area, around 20 percent of RER trains won't be running as usual. The RER C will be especially affected with just two out of three trains in operation. Traffic should be completely normal on the RER A and almost normal (90 percent) on the RER D.

For commuters from the outer suburbs, two out of every three Transilien trains will be operating on average. The lines H and K should be running at normal capacity, while lines L, R, and J will be the most disrupted with only half the trains in circulation.  

The Paris Métro and bus network which are run by RATP will not be affected by the strike.

As far as the high-speed service in France, three out of four TGVs will be running in general. The biggest TGV problems will be in Pays de la Loire, the Centre, and the southwest of France. 

Two out of three TER regional trains will be in circulation. For the Intercité trains, there will be none running at night and on average six out of ten during the day. 

Passengers are advised to check the SNCF website in advance to check their train is running or what impact the strike has had.

Why are rail workers on strike (again)?

In short, it's all about workers getting SNCF to improve pay and working conditions as well as the proposed labour reforms.

This is the fifth strike episode since the beginning of March, but unfortunately we might not have yet seen the worst of it.  

The rolling two strikes will continue into June, with the CGT promising it will turn into a daily strike from June 2nd.

As well as SNCF workers, the CGT union called on Monday for rail workers from the capital's transport operator RATP to hold an “indefinite strike” from Thursday June 2nd at 3pm.

So maybe this is a good time to start cycling to work. 

Because driving might be problematic as well… In case you haven't heard, there's a fuel crisis in France at the moment with one fifth of petrol stations running low on fuel. 

Good luck out there. 

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