France: Strikes disrupt travel

Updated 23 June 2018, 12:30 Melbourne local time

It’s that time of year again. If you are travelling through France over the coming months you should prepare for the possibility of major travel disruptions due to strikes.

Read more: What are my alternative transport options?

Travel by train

In protest of new labour laws being proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s new government, French rail workers have raised the bar by announcing a wave of rolling strikes over the next three months. They plan to strike for two days out of every five, starting from Tuesday 3 April until Thursday 28 June, which will be their longest in decades.

In the calendar below, the planned strike days are outlined in pink. Please note, there are discussions that the unions might extend the strikes into the peak summer months of July and August, however, this is still not confirmed. This article will be updated accordingly if this eventuates.

SNCF Strike Calendar

The exact impact on rail services may not be known until 17:00 (5 pm) on the day before travel when SNCF (the French rail carrier) will know how many workers have answered the unions call to walk out. The most recent information we have regarding strike cancellations on Saturday 23 June by train type/region is as follows:

PARIS REGION

Paris Metro operating as normal
RER A (incl Disneyland Paris) operating as normal
RER B (incl CDG Airport Line) Northbound: 1 of 2 trains operating
Southbound: 2 of 3 trains operating
RER C (incl Versailles) 1 of 2 trains operating
RER D 1 of 2 trains operating
RER E 3 of 4 trains operating
Line H 2 of 3 trains operating
Line J 2 of 3 trains operating
Line K 2 of 3 trains operating
Line L 1 of 2 trains operating
Line N 1 of 2 trains operating
Line P 3 of 4 trains operating
Line R 1 of 4 trains operating
Line U 3 of 4 trains operating
Trams T4: 3 of 4 trams operating

FRANCE (DOMESTIC)

TER 2 of 3 trains operating
Intercités 3 of 5 trains operating
TGV (Eastern France) 9 of 10 trains operating
TGV (Northern France) 9 of 10 trains operating
TGV (Western France) 9 of 10 trains operating
TGV (South East France) 9 of 10 trains operating
OUIGO 4 of 5 trains operating

FRANCE (INTERNATIONAL)

Eurostar operating as normal
Thalys operating almost as normal
Lyria (France-Switzerland) 4 of 5 trains operating
France-Italy 2 of 3 trains operating
France-Germany 9 of 10 trains operating
France-Spain 2 of 3 trains operating

You can check the status of your train on the following websites:

  • SNCF (French Rail). Check your train status up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Eurostar. Check your train status up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Thalys. Check your train status up to 4 months before departure.

Rome2rio customers that wish to adjust their journey in advance can do so as per the normal fare conditions. However, if your train is cancelled you have the following two options:

  1. Exchange tickets at the station for an earlier or later service, subject to availability. Trains may be busy and seat reservations cannot be guaranteed during strike action. No compensation can be claimed should you not find a free seat onboard, as this national strike is beyond the railway’s control.
  2. Apply for a refund by sending an email to tickets@rome2rio.com.

Travelling during a strike is not always pleasant, but Rome2rio aims to make it as seamless as possible.

Read more:
Train travel in France: A guide to SNCF
Getting around France from Paris, by train

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