Third and final day of strike on the SNCF network

The strike by SNCF controllers is due to end on Sunday February 18 after disrupting the winter holiday weekend, with the cancellation of one in two TGVs

Third and final day of strike on the SNCF network

The strike by SNCF controllers is due to end on Sunday February 18 after disrupting the winter holiday weekend, with the cancellation of one in two TGVs. The SNCF estimated that 150,000 travelers, out of the million who were supposed to travel, were unable to take their train during the three days of strike.

Train traffic has been “severely disrupted” by a strike by controllers since Thursday 8 p.m. and until Monday at 8 a.m., the railway company warned. The movement is very popular with three out of four controllers on strike over salary increases. The customers concerned have all been notified by email or SMS, assures the SNCF, and can be reimbursed if their train has been canceled.

This weekend sees the first returns from zone C (Paris, Montpellier and Toulouse) but also departures from zone A (Lyon, Bordeaux, Dijon, etc.), and the SNCF has favored connections to the ski resorts of the Alps where trains were full in both directions.

Adding trips by Blablacar

Some travelers on the Paris-Lyon line fell back on the trains of the railway company Trenitalia which were 8% more full than last year. “The peak exists this year but it is difficult to say what part is natural demand and what is the impact of strike announcements,” underlined a spokesperson for the new competitor SNCF. “We deplore the strikes in the rail sector. They keep travelers away from the train, the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, especially at times when they need it most,” she continued.

The Blablacar platform has observed a “doubling of the demand for reservations” for carpooling and coaches since the announcement of the SNCF transport plan on Wednesday. Blablacar said on Saturday that it had added journeys to “deal with demand”, notably from Paris to Rennes, Toulouse, Nice and Marseille and that there were still places in carpooling.

On the roads, motorists found themselves stuck in traffic jams on Saturday in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes as they approached ski resorts, but also in the Paris region. Sunday should be calmer on the road network, according to Bison futé.

Certain train lines were more affected by the strike, such as Paris-Bordeaux where two thirds of trains were canceled on Saturday. There should be more trains on this Atlantic route on Sunday, the boss of the TGV Atlantique, Franck Dubourdieu, announced to Agence France-Presse. If some customers change their ticket to travel on Monday, “we will be able to transport everyone,” he assured Friday.