Train strike to last several days

This is the third national strike at the SNCF since the new year

National rail strike is affecting train services today - and could last until the weekend if a deal is not reached

A NATIONWIDE strike by train drivers looks set to last until at least Thursday evening and could be extended further, according to unions.

Services across France are disrupted today in the third national strike called by the SNCF in as many months.

About 70% of TGV long-distance services are running (100% in the north and east), 60% of TER local trains and 50% of intercity Téoz departures.

In Paris, RER A and E are operating as normal. There are two trains in three on RER B and half of services on lines C and D.

Some of the suburban rail lines out of the capital, from La Défense and the Gare de Lyon, are running as little as one train in three.

No night trains will be running. Eurostar and Thalys services are unaffected by the industrial action.

The CGT and Sud-Rail unions, which are protesting about job cuts and pay, say the strike will continue until the SNCF agrees to negotiate with them.

But the rail operator's chief executive Guillaume Pepy said yesterday: "Negotiations are supposed to happen before a strike is called - otherwise we will never manage to reduce the number of strikes called at the SNCF."

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