SNCF: rail unions call for strikes starting April 3Back to Forum
If travelling by train within France from next month onwards be aware that industrial action may affect services.
According to Le Monde the French rail unions are calling for strkes “two out of five days”over three months in protest at Macron’s plans to reform SNCF.15 Mar 2018
Oh dear, once again more inconvenience for the travelling public. It will be interesting to see how this pans out and just how tough Macron will be. I wonder if he’ll cave in as so many prior Presidents have?16 Mar 2018
Also just seen the strike coincides with the start of the London – Amsterdam Eurostar service.
If the train drivers are British or Belgian, perhaps it won’t be affected, but I don’t know.16 Mar 2018
The French govt has now offered to write off 3/4 of SNCF’s debts to the tune of Euros 35 billion.
But the rail unions say their rolling strikes will continue until end June.27 May 2018
The French government, if it’s worthy of such a name, is being very generous with taxpayers’ money. Shades of SAA here who have written off billions of rand of debt.27 May 2018
Just to add to the fun, today, someone invented a new way of stopping a tram an disrupted tramway T2.28 May 2018
“Nothing to worry about mate, it’ll buff out nicely. Come out as good as new, that will.”
Meanwhile the driver will be given early retirement on 200% of his salary, and no doubt Brexit, or Donald Trump, will be blamed for the accident.28 May 2018
Ugly scenes at SNCF’s Paris HQ yesterday.
Striking railway workers invaded SNCF’s head office and later demonstrated on the roof with banners and flares.
Thank goodness we don’t see this in the UK.
The rolling strikes still continue.6 Jun 2018
There have been three months of rolling strikes which were supposed to conclude on June 28.
But it’s reported by the Independent that some rail unions plan to continue their strike action into July.
I am posting this information because we are now running into the holiday season and I know that some of you will be taking vacations in France.27 Jun 2018
I was possibly lucky yesterday, I travelled across France from BCN on the SNCF/RENFE train that ops MAD-PAR. It was on time, and ‘pas de greve’ and it’s a very pleasant journey as it crosses the Camargue and runs along the coast before heading inland where it picks up the high speed line.
As I may have commented before, you can’t get a proper meal on French long distance trains, which is odd since they are a nation that pride themselves (justifiably or not is another matter!) on their ‘cuisine’ and rail services. They have a buffet counter where you can buy a small variety of drinks, chips, sandwiches, chocolates, and sometimes pre-packed salads. In trains in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland you can get a good meal served at your seat or in a dining car on a few trains. Compared to that, the SNCF catering is a disgrace.
I am not sure how many trains in the UK still serve a cooked breakfast at the seat but about 4 years ago I travelled from Inverness to London on a morning train and enjoyed a proper cooked breakfast on a table as we cruised through the Highlands. In Spain last year I took a train from Santander to Madrid and had a decent hot ‘airline’ type meal at my seat, included in the fare.
A lot of the older TGV stock is showing its age, a bit like BA’s 747s, with tatty seating, grimy windows, worn carpets and doors that don’t close properly between coaches. Yesterday both trains I used were packed, maybe because of the impending strike, and I have to conclude that they have First Class and Worst Class. Also insufficient space for luggage. The price differential is often so small that F is as crowded and smelly as Worst.27 Jun 2018
Speaking as someone who lives part of his life in France I can tell you the level of support for the strikes among the French population is nowhere near what is was some years ago. Macron has got a lot of backing for his reforms plans and for the first time the Trade Unions are very much on the back foot. Even the Le Monde is not offering its usual support and the widely watched L’Émission politique TV show has been running a series pointing out what a sweet deal a lot of state employees have and how inefficient SNCF is compared to other European railway operators including massive overmanning in nearly all areas. SNCF currently has around Euro 45 billion in debt, employees, many of whom retire of full pensions at 50 or 55 that have jobs for life and many travel perks.
Ordinary French people agree that reform is long overdue.
The decision by (the partially SNCF owned) Eurostar to replace some of their French Alstom built trains with German built Siemens trains was a massive shock in France27 Jun 2018