French rail strikes: How services will be affected on Thursday

French rail workers continue their latest two-day strike on Thursday. Here's what we know about how train services will be affected.

French rail strikes: How services will be affected on Thursday
Photo: AFP
Travellers in France face more travel headaches on Thursday as French rail chiefs SNCF cancels scores of services across the country due to the ongoing two-day rail strike.
One TGV train out of three is expected to be operating on Thursday, as well as two TER and two Transilien trains out of every five and one Intercite train out of four. 
On Ouigo services, one out of every three trains operating. 
Meanwhile on international services, there will be four Eurostar trains out of five, while Thalys traffic will be “almost normal”, according to the SNCF.

French rail strikes: What can I do if I'm due to travel?Photo: AFP

However there will be no trains running between France and Spain and France and Italy. 
In Paris anyone taking the RER A, Europe's busiest train line, there will be one train out of two running on the Cergy/Poissy branch and three trains out of four on the rest of the line. 
On RER B, which serves both Paris airports, there will be one train out of two running on the whole line throughout the day. Services will stop at Gare du Nord meaning passengers travelling to Charles de Gaulle airport will have to change.
The other RER commuter lines around Paris will also be affected to differing degrees.
These disruptions are the latest of three months of rolling strikes planned by rail workers that began on April 3 over plans to overhaul the heavily indebted train operator SNCF, the biggest test yet to President Emmanuel Macron's wide-ranging drive to reform the country's economy.
The strikes have caused major travel headaches for the 4.5 million daily rail users in France although they are causing less disruption than when they first started on April 3rd when only one in eight TGV services was running. 
Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament late Tuesday voted  overwhelmingly in favour of a reform of the train network which will erode 
railway workers' privileges and change the status of the SNCF.
After Tuesday's vote of 454 to 80 in the National Assembly, the  legislation, which is backed by Macron's own party and the centre-right  opposition, moves to the Senate.
Macron is hoping that the law will be passed quickly, undermining the  rolling strikes which are scheduled until the end of June.
He is largely backed by public opinion, with 61 percent of respondents to a  recent Ifop poll saying they wanted the government to push through the reforms.
But trade unions have vowed to continue their fight.
Latest French rail strike hits train services on Wednesday
Photo: AFP
They have called for a day of nationwide work stoppages and demonstrations  Thursday as part of their efforts to mobilise various groups opposed to 
Macron's reforms.
Civil servants, workers in state retirement homes and students have all been called to join protests that could bring hundreds of thousands of people 
onto the street.
Around 300,000 civil servants, rail workers and students took part in the last day of anti-Macron demonstrations on March 22, according to police 
Macron, who sees his own credibility as a reformer on the line as he  prepares to mark the first anniversary of his presidency on May 14, has 
insisted he will not back down.
Once passed by the lower house the rail reform law will proceed to the  Senate where it will not be examined before May 29.
In a recent television interview, the French president who had hardly spoken about the conflict publicly, vowed to stand firm. “I will go to the end of these reforms,” he said. “It is essential we go ahead, not to do so would be a political hypocrisy”.
“I believe, as the unions do, that we need a strong rail service, a strong SNCF, and I respect their struggle,” Macron told TF1 television in his first comments on the rolling strikes launched last week.
“But I'm also asking them to fully consider the needs of our fellow citizens who have to put up with this, of the companies that could fail because of this strike,” Macron said.
“The right answer is not to abandon this reform, but to carry it out together,” he said. “But I am going to see this through to the end.”
The CGT union blasted him as “a hesitant president who didn't say much, who  in all likelihood has not got a good understanding of the reform plans, and  who, far from reassuring us, has strengthened the determination of the rail  workers”. 
The unions object to plans to deny new SNCF recruits benefits such as jobs  for life and early retirement, and fear Macron's proposal to transform the operator into a state-owned joint stock company could eventually see it  privatised.

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French rail strikes: How Friday’s walkout is set to affect you

French rail workers are gearing up for another day of strikes on Friday July 6th. Here's what you need to know about how train services will be affected.

French rail strikes: How Friday's walkout is set to affect you
Photo: AFP
Travellers in France are set to be hit by more travel headaches on Friday as two rail unions, CGT and Sud-Rail, go on strike on one of the busiest days for people heading off on their summer holidays. 
Here's what we know about the disruption to services:
Four TGV and TER trains out of five will be operating on Friday while there will be two Intercités trains out of three and three Transilien trains out of four, on average, according to France's national rail company SNCF. 
International trains will run “as normal” on Eurostar, Thalys and the France-Spain link while services will be “almost normal” on the France-Germany route. 

French rail strikes latest: First weekend of holidays to be hitPhoto: AFP

For those travelling on the Lyria service there will be one train out of two, while two out of three trains are scheduled on the France-Italy service. 
More than 600 TGV trains will run on Friday and Saturday, with nearly 100 percent of trains guaranteed for tourists travelling from the French capital to popular tourist destinations such as Marseille, Nice, Montpellier, Perpignan, Bordeaux and Rennes, said SNCF.
All passengers who had made a reservation were contacted in recent days “by SMS or email”, according to the rail company, which added that “tickets remain refundable and exchangeable without additional cost”.
Sud-Rail union announced last week, after a national council meeting, that it was calling on its members to walk off the job on July 6 and 7, the first weekend of the school summer holidays.
President Emmanuel Macron has pushed through the emblematic shake-up of train services despite stiff resistance from rail workers and their unions, who have carried out their longest strike in three decades in an attempt to derail the plan.
The rail reform was a key victory in the centrist president's push to reform wide swathes of France's economy.
Unions have been resisting plans to end life-long job security to new recruits, as well as plans to turn the SNCF into a joint-stock company, which hey saw as a first step toward privatisation despite government denials.
Macron argued that the SNCF, saddled by debts of some 47 billion euros, needs to cut costs and improve flexibility before the EU passenger rail market is opened up to competition.