France’s SNCF strike, currently taking place, is affecting Eurostar services.
The high-speed train firm has stated that it has had to cancel a number of services over the past couple of days. And these are not just to Paris but also to Brussels.
Worryingly they have included an Amsterdam service, even though this new route was launched only last Wednesday and trains are reported to be heavily booked.
Earlier this week Eurostar had to cancel five London-Paris and seven Paris-London services.
Two London-Brussels and three Brussels-London services were also cancelled.
Eurostar says there will be further cancellations during the next SNCF strike dates on April 13 and April 14.
It is too early to say which services will be cancelled. Eurostar recommends readers check nearer the time.
This week striking SNCF workers stepped up their action in Lille according to local media. There are scenes of disruption across the city and the CRS (France’s riot police) got involved.
They blocked Lille’s bus station to prevent long-distance buses from leaving. Ouibus, the bus company shown in the picture, is a subsidiary of SNCF.
France recently de-regulated its long-distance bus services and these have now become a viable alternative to SNCF during strike days.
Although SNCF is operating a number of trains on strike days things can still go wrong as David Crossley discovered.
Rail buff DavidCrossley, one of my Twitter followers (@dicrossley) has been in Narbonne. A couple of days ago he planned to return to the UK via Paris. But he has been stranded in Paris for the past couple of days.
He told me that he drove to Avignon and placed his car on SNCF’s AutoTrain to Paris Bercy. SNCF staff assured him that the train would run through to Paris. (David Crossley took a separate train to Paris as AutoTrain does not carry passengers).
But when David Crossley went along to Paris Bercy (the arrival point for AutoTrain) only to find the train along with his car and possessions) had not arrived. And SNCF staff were unable to tell him when the AutoTrain would arrive.
Latest news is that SNCF staff told him the train was due to arrive into Paris at 1900 yesterday.
The strikes at SNCF are set to last for three months. Forum reader PhilipHart has posted a timetable for when they are taking place.