France to slash train services by 70 percent

France to slash train services by 70 percent
Eurostar trains will run on a skeleton service as of this week, the SNCF said.Photo: AFP
French rail company SNCF will reduce its train services by up to 70 percent from Wednesday, after the second lockdown's travel restrictions has sent the number of passengers plunging. International services will also be affected.

“Customers who have booked a ticket for a cancelled train will be notified at least 48 hours before departure,” the company said in a press statement published on Tuesday.

Those affected would be offered a seat on another train free of charge or get their ticket reimbursed, SNCF said.

Both national and international lines will be affected;

  • TGV national high speed strains, both inOui services and the Ouigo low cost trains will run on 30 percent of their normal services from November 5th
  • Intercité regional trains will be affected, with “one or two returns daily”
  • Eurostar trains will be reduced to 15 percent of the normal services
  • Thalys trains were reduced to 30 percent of normal services from November 2nd, and “could see further adaptations in the coming days”
  • TER trains have not yet been affected, but decisions will follow in the coming days based on the current demand 

“Supplementary adjustments could be set in place as of next week,” the company said.

Changes in schedules for the next day should be published at 5pm at the latest, the company said, referring to their app Assistant SNCF and their website.

READ ALSO New lockdown in France: Your questions answered about international travel

The decision to slash the number of services came after the company saw its number of passengers plunge down to 15 percent of the normal after the nationwide lockdown strictly banned all travel unless done for a list of essential reasons (such as work or helping an elderly or sick).

At the height of the lockdown this spring, the company ran on a skeleton service of 7 percent of the normal routes.

All TGV Inoui, Ouigo and Intercité train tickets are fully reimbursable without fees until January 4th.


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