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LIFE IN PARIS

Eurostar services at Paris Gare du Nord ‘severely disrupted’ after electrical fault

An electrical failure in the Gare du Nord station in Paris hit all domestic and international high-speed trains including Eurostar and Thalys services, the French SNCF rail operator said on Friday. Eurostar passengers were advised not to travel.

Eurostar services at Paris Gare du Nord 'severely disrupted' after electrical fault
Photo: AFP

Trains were set to resume at around 1pm, roughly two hours after the electrical supply problem was detected, but it likely there will be severe disruption to timetables.

International train services from Paris have already suffered major disruption this week after damage to the rail network just outside Brussels halted Eurostar services on Wednesday night.

The electrical fault left passengers scrambling for information.

Eurostar advised passengers not to travel because of the “severe disruption” caused by the “overhead power issue”.

UPDATE: Due to an overhead power issue in Paris, our traffic to and from Paris is severely disrupted and we advise passengers not to travel and to rebook here – https://t.co/J7lwyB6hV0

Eurostar said no trains had been cancelled (as of 1pm) but that passengers who decided to continue with travel plans would face severe delays.

The electrical fault has also hit RER B services to and from Paris airports.

High temperatures in both Belgium and France have also lead to domestic and international trains being slowed down as a safety precaution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TRAVEL

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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