Train station blasts music to prevent loitering

The music is unpopular with some people. Photo: Ouest-France

Rennes SNCF train station has been playing classical music from loudspeakers to dissuade people from hanging around at the site

For three months, while building work restricts access to Rennes SNCF station, extracts of symphonies and operas have been playing on a loop from a loudspeaker on the south side of the station for 24 hours a day.

"The purpose is to dissuade people from spending time at the site. This music played continuously puts them off hanging around", said the SNCF branch Gares & Connexions, which manages French train stations.

The practice is not without controversy, however. Four years ago, a similar operation was launched at a Transilien station in Paris.

At that time, the SNCF said it was simply about customers having something to listen to while they waited for their train.

However, the website StreetPress accused the SNCF of disguising an ‘anti-young people’ agenda, revealing that in a quickly-deleted post on the Transilien website the company had admitted playing classical music at certain stations was "to restore order" and dissuade "groups who squat at train stations.”

The post added: “Would you believe that it works!".

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