Strike at the SNCF: no chaos in the stations despite “strongly disrupted” train traffic

The SNCF controllers' strike continues on Saturday February 17 in the middle of the winter holidays and with only one in two TGVs in circulation, affecting a total of 150,000 travelers, according to the company

Strike at the SNCF: no chaos in the stations despite “strongly disrupted” train traffic

The SNCF controllers' strike continues on Saturday February 17 in the middle of the winter holidays and with only one in two TGVs in circulation, affecting a total of 150,000 travelers, according to the company.

This weekend sees the first returns from zone C (Paris, Montpellier and Toulouse) but also departures from zone A (Lyon, Bordeaux, Dijon, etc.).

Train traffic has been “severely disrupted” since Thursday 8 p.m. and until Monday 8 a.m., warned the SNCF. Some "850,000 French people will finally be able to go on vacation" but "I regret that 150,000 French people will not be able to leave" because "they have not necessarily found solutions", explained Friday on BFM-TV Christophe Fanichet, the CEO of SNCF Voyageurs.

The service is reduced by half on the TGV InOui and Ouigo lines, as well as for the Intercités. The company announces “normal” traffic for classic Ouigo trains and “disrupted” for European connections, such as Eurostar. Traffic is better on local lines with “on average, 8 TER out of 10”.

The customers concerned were all notified by email or SMS, assures the SNCF.

Increase in trains on the Atlantic axis expected on Sunday

Priority was given to connections to the Alps, where trains were full in both directions, according to the company. On the other hand, certain lines are more affected, such as Paris-Bordeaux, where two thirds of trains are canceled.

There should be more trains on the Atlantic axis from Sunday, announced TGV Atlantique boss Franck Dubourdieu to Agence France-Presse. If some customers change their ticket to travel on Monday, “we will be able to transport everyone,” he assured Friday.

On the roads, the axes connecting the ski resorts should be particularly congested throughout the day in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (A40, A43), according to Bison futé. In Ile-de-France, traffic is expected to be heavy on the A6 motorway in the return direction between early afternoon and mid-evening.

And disruptions linked to the strike could also “reinforce the traffic difficulties expected this weekend on the entire road network”, warned Bison Futé.

The Blablacar platform has observed a “doubling of demand for reservations” for carpooling and buses since the announcement of the SNCF transport plan on Wednesday. Blablacar announced on Friday that it planned to add additional journeys to “cope with demand”, notably from Paris to Rennes, Toulouse and Marseille, and that there were still carpooling places available.

Despite everything, the strike did not lead to chaos in the stations, with travelers taking the lead by giving up their trip, changing their tickets or adopting other modes of transport.