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

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French rail strikes: How Friday's walkout is set to affect you
Photo: AFP
17:06 CEST+02:00
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.
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. 
 
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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.
 
 
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