Today's transport strike in France

Oct 19th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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Saturday morning update:

All international trains are running except for one Thalys. Quite a few regional trains are still cancelled, especially in the trans-regional links.

As for Paris, the RER B is closed; the RER A is running at 25%. About half of the metro lines have normal service. Lines 10 and 13 have less than 50% service and line 12 is closed.

Bus service is running just above 60%.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 19th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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One of the things we tend to forget is how long it takes to get things back in order after shutting a system down: trains and buses aren't where the people working them need them to be, not where they usually begin. Cleaning required, coordination.

Good luck all you in France or on your way. Meanwhile, be happy the bakers and cave keepers are still working (if they can make it to their jobs!)

When we had our most recent NYC transit strike, it was truly a pain, naturally. But through it I discovered that many of the women working the late night checkout line at my market (Fairway) had a 2 hr commute on an average night! Their employer was putting some of them up at a neighborhood hotel, ensuring he'd have staff and they'd have sleep.

Good work, Kerouac and all the "Paris bureau" correspondents.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 10:33 PM
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Boy, were we lucky! We went to Belgium on the Thalys on Monday to visit my son. Came back Wednesday afternoon to a hotel I had booked specifically because it was on the RER B line. Should be easy as pie to get to CDG on Thursday morning, was my thinking.

Wrong! I hadn't planned on the strike.

Our desk clerk was most helpful in getting what must have been the last two shuttle seats in Paris to CDG. As it happened, the shuttle showed up precisely on time, and the traffic was not too heavy going that way, so we got to the airport in plenty of time.

Our backup plan, if there were no shuttles or taxis to be had, was to nap in the hotel, take the last RER to CDG on Wednesday evening, and sleep in the airport. Dumb idea, but we really needed to catch that flight back to Seattle. As it was, we were up nearly 30 hours before our tired little heads hit the pillow.

Paris was wonderful, BTW.

nukesafe is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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How does it look for Sunday. Will be arriving at CDG in the morning.
mike_b12 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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The SNCF is showing 2 or 3 trains an hour on the RER B from CDG to Paris-Nord on Sunday. Some of the morning times currently planned are: 7:28, 7:43, 8:13, 8:43, 9:13, 9:28, 9:58, 10:28, 10:58, 11:13, 11:43. The RER B south of Paris-Nord is an RATP line, and it is not currently operating.

About 2/3 of the metro is operating normally today. No lines are closed at the moment, but line 10 is at 30% service and lines 2, 12, 13 are at 50% service.

Bus lines are reported as being "almost normal" but some lines are overflowing with passengers when they are taking over from non-operating train or reduced metro lines.

Tomorrow will be another day, possibly different. Right now, they are having major difficulties making predictions because each employee is deciding for himself whether to strike or not. The unions are bickering, because the train drivers' union cut a very good deal with the government, protecting precisely what is being eliminated from other jobs.

The unions are all meeting on Monday, and we can probably expect more trouble then.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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May I ask a question please? I can't tell from your note whether you're referring to expected trouble on Sunday or Monday.

My daughter and SIL are on their honeymoon and taking a train from Paris to Nice on Sunday morning. Any idea whether outbound trains will be running then? The SNCF site is letting me "book" a ticket now, but I don't know if that's a sign or not.

Thank you so much!
Iwan2go is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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TGVs are running normally at the moment.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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Thank you. So just go to the station tomorrow and hope for the best!
Iwan2go is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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We just returned from Paris today. The strike was very disruptive - not only we had to cancel our plans to go to Versailles, it was difficult to visit museums because many were closed due to lack of staff showing up to work!!!

We were fortunate to stay in the 6th eme, so we basically walked everywhere on both Thurs (10/18) and Fri (10/19). However, we were very dismayed about the museums...

The smaller ones (such as Musee Guimet, Musee Delacroix) were closed on both days. The larger ones including Orsay, Louvre, l'Orangerie were open but with much shorter hours.

Apart from causing diruptions to the French people, I wonder how much tourist money was lost due to this???
yk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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Sunday update:

Paris metro back to normal. RER B still requires a change of train at Gare du Nord.

SNCF : the vast majority of trains are operating.

Keep any eye on what emerges from the union meetings scheduled on Monday.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 09:39 PM
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Did you know that this strike is effecting alot of Air France flights?

Seems the daily non-stops out of Seattle to CDG have been canceled. This has me worried because I am booked on said flight for this coming Tuesday. Any new updates?


TRSW is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 02:57 AM
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Air France has not affected by the strike. If they are cancelling flights, it is for technical or commercial reasons. Isn't that Seattle flight only 5 days a week anyway rather than daily?
kerouac is online now  
Oct 21st, 2007, 10:03 AM
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According to Le Monde, more problems tomorrow (Monday 22 October) for suburban rail travel around Paris. The RER B (which serves CDG) will probably only be running at 20%. RER D & E at 50%. RER A & C at 65%. Metro service should be normal.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 21st, 2007, 06:15 PM
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This is a bit late, because I had only a brief internet connection in Paris, and we just got home a few hours ago. Maybe if I keep typing, I won't fall asleep too early (the time in Paris, where I woke up this morning, is now a little after 4AM).

As I noted earlier on this thread, our return voyage to Boston after four weeks in France included a TGV trip from Avignon TGV to Paris Charles de Gaulle yesterday (Saturday 10/20). Before Saturday, we followed this thread closely to see if that train (for which we had pre-paid tickets) was likely to go, and it did.

So we were lucky to be traveling on the 20th, and not the 18th or even the 19th. But that's not to say that we were unaffected. Reading the notices being posted in the TGV station in Avignon (we arrived for our train very early), we saw that a considerable number of trains were canceled even on the 20th, at least one on very short notice. Other trains that were not canceled were running up to an hour and a half late.

The SNCF boarded on our train(without reserved seats) people whose trains had been canceled. By a public address announcement, they directed these people to two particular cars, and I think (but I'm not sure) that these were extra cars they had added to the train. Once the train was underway, two additional stops were announced - stops servicing stations served by some of the canceled trains.

Boarding our train, we found people standing in the luggage area. One enterprising (and small) young woman had crammed herself onto one of the luggage racks, and ignored anyone who told her she had no right to be there (she was in a rather contorted position).

Arriving at our seats, we found two people already seated there, who had been occupying them from Marseille. But when confronted with our tickets, they got up without complaint. Although there were some frayed nerves, in general the passengers were quite good about observing the rules. This was a good thing, since there was no conductor in evidence to enforce them for us. In our car, no tickets were ever checked.

The usual announcement was made promoting the dining car, but this time, it noted that not all food items were available. Furthermore, it said that the coffee machine was broken, so they could only supply instant coffee.

Nevertheless, the train did the most important part of its job admirably: it got us from Avignon to Paris. And almost on schedule.

Once I catch up on my sleep, I'll post a trip report, in a separate thread, of course.

- Larry
justretired is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 08:36 PM
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In any case, as announced, the strike is still on in the Paris suburbs this morning (Monday), but no lines are completely closed.

Service inside Paris is normal, except for the RER lines.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Air France has announced a strike for Oct.25-29. This could be huge because most all unions are joining in the strike.
jabez is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Sarkozy - if you think this is terrible i'm afraid you have not seen anything yet.

greves i expect to continue not only with transport sector but many public sectors unless Sarko, as most previous politicians cave in to union demands
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:10 AM
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The 8 rail unions met today and have just announced that they will wait until 31 October to make more decisions about going on strike. They have said that if the government does not make concessions, there will be 'unlimited' strikes in November.

Meanwhile, there are still sporadic strikes in the Paris suburbs, and trains out of Paris-Nord (including the RER B serving CDG) will still only be operating at 50% tomorrow. Montparnasse and Saint Lazare will also be disrupted.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:56 PM
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New transportation strikes in view for mid-November. Exact dates not yet announced.

There will be a strike of civil servants on November 20th, so don't plan any museum visits on that day.

The RER B to CDG is running at 40% today.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:09 AM
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Kerouac, Thank you so much for your dedication to this post.

Our November 20 itinerary, of course, had museum visiting on it. I can move things around a bit, but I don't have much leeway because we've purchased museum passes and they have to be used on consecutive days. Is there grace granted if the museums are closed or will it be our loss if we can't go due to the closures? If there is a strike, will Versailles be open?

How do people get to and from Versailles and Chartes during a strike? Is everyone renting a car?

Thanks again for keeping us all posted!

Samstorm is offline  

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