Rail strike: One third of trains cancelled in France over Christmas weekend

The Local France
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Rail strike: One third of trains cancelled in France over Christmas weekend

French rail operator SNCF has announced that due to strike action over Christmas weekend, around one third of normal services will be cancelled.


Despite weeks of negotiation between SNCF bosses and unions, a strike notice for Friday, December 23rd to Monday, December 26th remains in place, along with a second notice for December 30th to January 2nd.

The strike is only supported by certain unions, meaning that some conductors and ticket collectors will work as normal. The strike does not include drivers.

SNCF released a provisional strike timetable on Tuesday, stating that overall two out of three of the normal services will run on Friday, December 23rd. 

The disruption will be concentrated on TGV services, with local TER lines mostly running as normal. The strike does not affected city or suburban public transport.

A detailed strike timetable will be published 24 hours in advance, but at present SNCF anticipates two thirds of normal services running on Friday, with similar levels of disruption over the weekend.

On the TGV Atlantique route in the south west two in three TGVs will run, in the north half the normal service (although the Paris-Lille service will be 'quasi-normal') and in the Est area three quarters of normal services will run.

SNCF said that over the weekend 800,000 people had booked tickets as part of the Christmas get-away.

French media reported that unions were divided on the best action to take, so issued the strike notice without a call to stop work, leaving the decision of whether to work or not up to local groups.


Workers now have until Wednesday evening to inform managers whether they intend to strike, and the revised strike timetable for the Christmas weekend will be published on Thursday at 5pm.

A strike notice remains in place for the New Year weekend, although service disruptions will be announced nearer the time. 

Cabin crew at Easyjet have called off strike action over the holiday period while Air France says it does not expect significant disruption.

Anyone with a trip planned to the UK should check with their operator before travelling as British strikes are set to cause significant disruption over the festive period.



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