French transport strike, Nov. 14

Nov 13th, 2007, 03:57 AM
  #1  
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French transport strike, Nov. 14

As of midday Nov. 13 in Paris, here are the forecasts for tomorrow (in general the problems will start on Wed morning; if you are traveling Tues. night the service should be OK). Starting Wednesday...

Eurostar: service will be almost 100% normal.
Thalys: will run on a reduced schedule; for details, look on www.thalys.com, choose English language option and then click on "Traffic Info" on upper left of screen.
Other TGV lines: reduced service on most lines; for details, go to www.sncf.fr, where you will see "Actu Trafic" near the top of the page. Click on "Grandes Lignes" and then on the next page, click on "Previsions" which will give you detailed schedules.

In the Paris region ...
There will be very little metro service, with the exception of Lines 1 and 14.
About 10% of buses and trams will operate.
The RER 'B' which serves CDG airport will not run on Wed. The RER 'A' will not run.
Suburban commuter trains will run on a reduced schedule. If you speak French, go to www.abcdtrains.com to search for detailed schedules.
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Thank you mlafitte, the website: www.abcdtrains.com is great!
TPaxe is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Great timing. My vacation starts there on Sunday.

How long is the strike expected to last?



Governator is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Alors...Strike is "open-ended", for the moment. May also bring in other unions, such as utility workers and students.

KidsToLondon is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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The strike is technically open-ended, but on the above-referenced site www.abcdtrains.com you can already find schedules for trains running Thursday ... my hunch is that traffic will start getting back to normal Thurs. and Fri. Yes, there is student unrest and yes, others are threatening to join, but polls published today show that a majority of the public think the strike is unjustified, and I sense the unions may decide to keep their powder dry for an issue where they have a better chance of winning. (The issue in this instance is their desire to maintain a retirement scheme that's much more generous than most of their countrymen enjoy!) Of course, this being France, who knows whether they will be guided by logic or passion!
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 12:59 AM
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Here is an update, at midmorning on Nov. 14. Overall, the strike is less severe than the one in October. In Paris, the following Metro lines are running every 5 to 15 minutes: Lines 1, 2, 4, and 6, plus the automated Meteor Line 14. Taken together, these cover most parts of the city that tourists would want to visit. The RER B and Roissybus to CDG airport are not running, however; alternatives are the Air France bus or taxi. The RER line to Versailles Rive Gauche isn't running, but you could take the train from Montparnasse to Versailles Chantiers station which is about a 10-minute walk from the Chateau. Outside Paris, the TGV and Thalys are running on a reduced schedule (see earlier post for details); Eurostar service is normal although some trains have been delayed. You can tar and feather me later if I am wrong, but I predict things will be back to normal by the weekend.
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 03:07 AM
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I think you're likely right about things being more "normal" by the weekend. But, if I were arriving then, I wouldn't take any chances---would reserve a shuttle in advance for CDG to Paris.

JeanneB is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Was surprised today how many lines were working, with long and short delays. Caught the bus 38, no waiting, caught metro 9, no waiting, but the line 7 was horrible.

Was a pleasant surprise!
TPaxe is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 12:45 AM
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Here's an update at midmorning Nov. 15, the second day of the strike. Overall, the situation is somewhat better than yesterday. Nearly all Paris metro lines are running, although service on certain lines (notably Lines 1, 2, and 14) is much better than on others. There are notices in the stations giving the percentage of service on each line, which can help you choose an alternate route if needed.

Most of the suburban train lines are running, albeit some on a very reduced schedule. However, the RER B which serves CDG airport is not running at all, nor is the Roissybus. (In other words you will need to take the Air France bus or taxi/shuttle -- either way, you should count on at least an extra hour travel time because of heavy traffic.)The Orlybus is running, but on a reduced schedule, and again you need to leave extra time because of traffic.

Outside Paris, about 20% of TGVs are running. Service on the Eurostar and Thalys is pretty close to normal.

There will almost certainly be continuing disruption on Friday, but I am sticking to my prediction that things will get pretty much back to normal over the weekend. (Keep tar and feathers handy, in case I am wrong!)
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Not many metros were running today, with long waits, annoucements saying particular lines not working and then a train turns up. A lot of confusion. The worst time is in the morning between 8 am and 10.30 am and the most horrendous time is between 5.30 pm and 8 pm. Really a lot of shoving and pushing to the point it can get quite dangerous.

Can't order cabs in advance and impossible to get.
TPaxe is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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The strikes at the moment are open ended, but hopefully it will be better by the weekend
TPaxe is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Latest update via BBC News. Both sides are talking...

Hopes of a breakthrough were raised on Wednesday evening after Mr Sarkozy said conditions for talks had been created.

In a letter to the unions, labour minister Xavier Bertrand proposed a month of negotiations between all parties.

The head of the CGT railway branch, Didier Le Reste, said the letter contained some "new elements", but members have voted to continue the strike until at least Friday morning.

Workers from other unions have also voted to stay on strike.

"We imagine that Friday will go much the same way as today," CGT spokesman Jacques Eliez said.

The strike began on Tuesday night and follows a previous walkout on 18 October.

travelsuper is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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On Friday the transit situation in the Paris area is likely to be about the same as on Thursday, i.e. some metro lines running fairly often but others very little or not at all. TPaxe is right, try to avoid the metro during rush hour as the trains are obviously much more crowded than usual then.

Service on the RER A and B lines will again be spotty on Friday(in the case of the RER B to the airport, probably once again no service). Outside Paris, however, things are getting back to normal, with more than one-third of TGVs scheduled to be in service on Friday. Even most of the suburban Paris trains (except the RER A and B) are running pretty well.

I continue to think things will improve greatly over the weekend ... there is something about French 'strike psychology' that generally creates the worst conditions during the week, and then on weekends and vacations things get much better.
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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This is what is on the notice of the RATP website this morning at 7.45 am. It may be worth printing off the list and looking to see which metro lines are affected while travelling around Paris.

Though there may be changes along the way which they announce over the loud speakes.

As the strikers do get partly paid during their strikes, I agree with mlaffitte, they will probably not want to use their precious weekends to continue protesting. So, my guess too, the weekend is going to be better and then it may start again on Monday.

TPaxe is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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My copy and paste didn't work in the last message!

Métro :
Ligne 1 : 1 train every 5 min
Ligne 2 : 1 train every 10 min
Ligne 3 : 1 rame toutes les 45 min
Ligne 3bis : service non assuré
Ligne 4 : 1 train every 10 min
Ligne 5 : 1 train every 40min
Ligne 6 : 1 trainevery 25 min
Ligne 7 : 1 rame toutes les 25 min
Ligne 7bis : service non assuré
Ligne 8 : 1 train avery 40 min
Ligne 9 : 1 train every 15 min
Ligne 10 : 1 train every 35 min
Ligne 11 : 1 train every 10 min
Ligne 12 : 1 train every 30 min
Ligne 13 : 1 rame toutes les 15 min
(branche G. Péri Asnières Gennevilliers service non assur&eacute
Ligne 14 : fonctionne normalement

RER RATP :
Ligne A : service très perturbé avec une rame sur 10
Interconnexion suspendue à Nanterre Préfecture.

Ligne B RER to the airport : service non assuré
Connection suspended at Gare du Nord.

Bus et Tramway :
30% de trafic assuré en moyenne sur l'ensemble du réseau

Orlybus : trafic normal
Roissybus : trafic non assuré
TPaxe is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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The strike is still on today, I qm in Auxerre now; the ter regional trains are in reduced schedule, only couple for very eqrly morning and late afternoon, the same as last two days.
JudyC is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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Thanks, TPaxe!
Just wanted to add that service on the TGV is improving today ... also by midmorning, the RER A was running 1 of every 4 trains instead of 1 in 10 earlier in the day.

Things should improve even more over the weekend ... let's keep fingers crossed for next week, but my sense is that it will not be too bad. The unions may threaten, but more than half the rank & file is already back at work, and the government is now refusing to negotiate further unless the strike is called off. It's looking more & more like the unions have lost this one.
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 03:22 AM
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At 1pm :

Métro :
Ligne 1 : 1 rame toutes les 10 min
Ligne 2 : 1 rame toutes les 10 min
Ligne 3 : 1 rame toutes les 45 min
Ligne 3bis : fonctionne normalement
Ligne 4 : 1 rame toutes les 10 min
Ligne 5 : service quasi nul
Ligne 6 : service non assuré
Ligne 7 : service non assuré
Ligne 7bis : service non assuré
Ligne 8 : service non assuré
Ligne 9 : service quasi nul
Ligne 10 : service non assuré
Ligne 11 : 1 rame toutes les 30 min
Ligne 12 : service quasi nul
Ligne 13 : 1 rame toutes les 40 min
(branche G. Péri Asnières Gennevilliers service non assur&eacute
Ligne 14 : fonctionne normalement

RER RATP :
Ligne A : service quasi nul
Interconnexion suspendue à Nanterre Préfecture.

Ligne B : service non assuré
Interconnexion suspendue à Gare du Nord.

Bus et Tramway :
30% de trafic assuré en moyenne sur l'ensemble du réseau

Orlybus : trafic normal
Roissybus : service perturbé avec 2 bus sur 3
Tvm : service perturbé avec 2 bus sur 5
Tramway T1 : service non assuré
Tramway T2 : trafic normal
Tramway T3 : service perturbé avec 2 rames sur 3


kerouac is online now  
Nov 16th, 2007, 04:49 AM
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From BBCNews...I arrive on Monday and if there is no RER, will look for the Air France bus or last resort take a taxi. Luckily I am arriving non-rush hour.

France endures third strike day...

Most of France's rail network remains disrupted for a third day as protests continue against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reforms.
Unions have said they are still waiting for an agreement on the conditions under which talks between government, unions and employers can take place.

Labour minister Xavier Bertrand has said talks can begin only when union leaders call off the strike.

The unions want to continue the walkout during any negotiations.

Friday saw a slight increase in the number of trains and metros running but millions of people still faced long delays and struggled to get to and from work, with many resorting to going by foot, cycling or roller-blading along traffic-choked roads.

Only 200 of the usual 700 TGV high-speed trains were running.

Two metro lines in Paris were closed completely, and about one in three buses were running.

Millions of commuters in Germany are also facing big delays on the third day of a national strike by train drivers over a pay dispute.

Deutsche Bahn says it will not make a new pay offer, and drivers' unions have raised the prospect of open-ended strikes.

Uncertain outlook

The French government says it is ready to begin new negotiations with unions but only when the strike is called off.

"We need a call on the part of the unions in the companies concerned for work to resume so that immediately - I repeat: immediately - tripartite talks can open, talks demanded by those same trade unions," Mr Bertrand told French RTL radio on Friday.

A drop in the number of strikers showed that "there are now more workers who want to go back to work" than those who want to continue the strike, he said.

"All the conditions are in place to allow us to end this strike as soon as possible," Mr Bertrand added.

But seven rail unions have rejected an offer of fresh talks on pension reform and the BBC's Alastair Sandford in Paris says the outlook for the weekend remains uncertain.

Early on Friday some strikers prevented trains from leaving Argenteuil train depot, west of Paris, by placing flares and firecrackers on the tracks.

"It's scandalous and absolutely unacceptable," said Guillaume Pepy, executive director of the SNCF rail authority.

"A number of uncontrolled strikers or elements from outside the company have caused disorder by putting hand flares, firecrackers and detonators that are security devices on the tracks to prevent trains from running."

Sud Rail union confirmed the incident, saying the strikers were targeting a smaller union of independent train drivers who are not taking part in the strike.

"There will be more of these actions, and not only at Argenteuil," warned Dominique Malvaud from Sud Rail.

Public sector perks

The government is facing industrial conflict on several fronts. Students are stepping up protests over university reforms and next week, teachers and civil servants are due to strike over job cuts.


Some French commuters sided with Mr Sarkozy, saying the reforms were needed.

"I work in the private sector here in France, and do not actually benefit from all the wonderful perks that come with a public sector job - 35-hour working weeks, five weeks paid vacation, early retirement," Kim Marohn told the BBC news website.

But Paris teacher Colette Catrina said she did support the unions:

"The majority of my work colleagues supported the movement because it is at the core of their main worries about pension reforms. They all will be on strike themselves on 24 November to ask for pay rises and protest against reforms which favour wealthy and well off people," she said.

The strike began on Tuesday night and follows a previous walkout on 18 October.

The last time a French government tried to overhaul "special" pensions was in 1995 and it sparked three weeks of strikes that forced then-President Jacques Chirac to climb down.

But the polls have so far broadly supported Mr Sarkozy, who says France can no longer afford to let some public service employees retire on a full pension as early as 50.

travelsuper is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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We are here for the strike, but having a great time--just leaaving earlier and getting a lot of exercise with the walking. We are not missing anything.

Jean
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