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Paris Strike - TGV Train-related Questions

Paris Strike - TGV Train-related Questions

Oct 15th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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Paris Strike - TGV Train-related Questions

Since the strike seems to be indefinite and nobody knows when it is going to end or what are affected, how does one check if a particular train is working or not? We have 2 day trips from Paris (Dijon and Reims). Is there an English-speaking contact number we can call to check the status of our train? I believe museums, trains, and airports are being affected......will that be the same thing with stores, shops, etc.? We will only be in Paris for 6 nights.....will this situation be a real nightmare? Appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
nina88 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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It
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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You can call 011-33-8-92-35-35-39 for an English-speaking operator.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 08:50 AM
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Sorry about hitting submit too soon. It is a day to day situation, you don't mention when you are traveling, but even if you had, I couldn't predict what is going to happen. The government says the situation will improve but the Left, and not just Aubry, and not just the Left, for that matter, are determined. Of course it will improve at some point, the operative word being "some."

Today about 1 in 2 TGV trains were running, the Metronwas running "quasi normale" but RER B wasn't running at all (according to TV channel TF1), flights were affected with priority given to keeping international, trans-Atlantic and long hauls in the air.

I typed www.tgv.fr which defaulted to www.infolignes.fr, which gave an overview of the situation and a window to type in your specific reservation to check the status.

Wish I could give better or positive info; there are also major problems with gas and diesel supplies as many refineries are blocked and/or shut doen. That status changes hourly.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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It's www.infolignes.com
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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I have never heard of store clerks striking in sympthay with transportation worker unions. In fact, I don't think I have ever heard of strikes affectings stores and shops in Paris. If someone has an example of that ever having happened, I'd be very interested in reading about it.

SNCF has a website with latest updates www.infolignes.com

I know they are projecting more manifestations for Saturday. I haven't read anywhere about museums being affected except by one guy on Fodors. I know students are on strike, and some workers in the oil refineries, I believe (so petrol supplies are running low). The only sectors I've read being affected a lot are the schools, transportation (train and air), truck drivers, and the oil industry. I just read an article about it an hour ago, and that was all it talked about. I think it said they had about two days of fuel left at CDG for the planes. I think there was also some mention about possible blockages on the highways to hold up truck deliveries, the same as happened some years ago, as I recall. Although if the drivers aren't delivering food, they don't need to block the road so not sure which it was. I've seen photos of the police going to unblock some of the refineries.

Actually, I was in Paris once when the police had to come an unblock the strikers at the Opera Garnier so the performance could go on that night, and I was really glad they were there. They formed a line to block off all the strikers so that people with tickets could enter the building. That was the strike of the part-timers.

well, you never know what is going to happen.
Christina is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Catihinjoetown, we'll be arriving in Paris next Wed., 10/20, thank you all. Is it better to just arrive earlier at the station for the TGV train hoping that we can be accommodated or call for info (though I feel we should just go to the station and wing it)? Problem is, these are day tours....what if I get a train going to destinations but cannot go back to Paris? Unfortunately, these were scheduled just a day before our flight back to the US. It's nice to be stucked in Paris, but we need to go back on time. Such a dilemna.
nina88 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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I can only tell you what I would do, which is check online on the status of both segments the morning of the trip, then make a decision, factoring in of course the next-day flight.

It would not hurt to get there early but if you have a seat reservation you should have first priority for that seat. I say "should" because I don't know how they are handling people whose trains have been canceled. One thing that tends to happen is that people who don't have to travel will stay home.

Let's hope things are settled before your trip.

I think the real crunch, if the strike is still on, will be the following weekend which is a 3-day weekend due to All Saints' Day.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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The only way stores are impacted IME is if their staff cannot get to work - plausible in a whole transit shutdown but like Christina I've never seen stores close during strikes, which is weird because they are also unionized, but i guess with more weaker unions?
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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I've never seen stores close during strikes, which is weird because they are also unionized, but i guess with more weaker unions?

Strangely enough, only 8% of French workers are unionized.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 04:44 PM
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If the TGV trains are cancelled, do we get a refund? Some of our TGV trains are PREM; what is the process in getting a refund? Is there an english version of www.infolignes.com?
nina88 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2010, 12:11 AM
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There doesn't appear to be an English version. Google has a free translator which is fairly accurate so you could try that as the text on infolignes is simple.

Practice by typing in your train info even though it will be too early at the moment.

Did you purchase insurance with the PREM's tickets, it's 1-2 euros extra? If not, I know they are working to get people on alternate trains but that might not help you for a day trip.

My husband got a full refund from easyjet in July when his flight was cancelled due to French strike action but don't know SNCF's policy.
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Oct 17th, 2010, 03:14 AM
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If the TGV trains are cancelled, do we get a refund?

Yes, at train stations or SNCF boutiques.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Oct 17th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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No, I did not purchase an insurance, don't even know it exist....don't remember it being given as an option.
nina88 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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I didn't know store clerks were unionized, but also I don't know the intricacies of the retirement age thing, maybe it doesn't affect them. Or maybe stores wouldn't put up with it as much as the govt (which could mean weaker unions).

The insurance option is for EU residents, anyway, as I recall the terms. It is offered to everyone if you have a nonrefundable ticket, I thought, it's an option right under the listing. But most people can't even read the terms which are pretty restrictive to collect, so I wouldn't ever buy insurance if I couldn't read the terms. Surprises me how many people do, though.

I don't think you need insurance to get a refund in the case of a strike, from what I've read on here, but it's never happened to me. The insurance is for sicknesses, or if you have a car accident on the way or something like that, and then you have to notify them within some time period.
Christina is offline  
Oct 17th, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Thanks, Cristina.
nina88 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 02:47 AM
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All train tickets become automatically refundable or transferable in the case of a strike.

Regarding an arrival on October 20th, I have already heard some rumors about truckers blocking road access to CDG on that day, which might leave only the RER as a transportation option into the city. There's no point in worrying about that until you arrive unless you have pre-booked a shuttle service. Taxi drivers, on the other hand, have numerous secret routes for emergencies that do not use the autoroute, but the meter will reach a much higher number in a case like that.

(On the other hand, the blockades by truckers are generally only effective when they have not been announced in advance, so this is probably a hollow threat.)
kerouac is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 12:40 AM
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The latest 2 sides of the story on TF1:


Par TF1 News (D'après agence) le 21 octobre 2010 à 08:48

While I consider it a good sign that the # of rail strikers is down from 42% to 28%, it hardly reassures me for TGV travel on Monday the 25th and Wednesday the 27th if they are going to call another National Day of Solidarity on Tuesday and it carries over into Wednesday again.

Is there currently any talk of rolling electricity blackouts to conserve energy?

If you had to decide by Saturday am if you're canceling your long planned trip (hotel refund), what would you do?
klondike is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 06:13 AM
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We rode the TGV from Nice to Paris on 10/14, it was a nightmare!
We were with a group of 28 people.
We were scheduled for the 9:30 train, but it was canceled and they only had two trains running 6:30 & 4 something.
So we got on the 6:30, but had to keep giving up our seats since technically our tickets weren't for that time. There were people who had ticket for all different times and days and the train was over crowded and not enough seats.
I guess once you get on a train in France, they can't make you get off and it was standing room only! People were in the aisles, stairwells, etc... People were sharing 2-3 to a seat.
Some of our group stood for 3-4 hours & this was first class!
It was miserable, but we knew we had no other option! We were just happy to make it to Paris!
Reese22 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 06:21 AM
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Is there currently any talk of rolling electricity blackouts to conserve energy>

why are the nuclear power plants, where France gets most of its electricity, are also on strike? And with fewer electricity guzling TGVs running there should be more than enough power.
PalenQ is offline  

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