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End in sight for SNCF walkout?

Rail operator claims 'near-normal' service for the weekend, but unions have pledged to keep up the strike

THE SNCF has claimed that train services will start returning to normal from today, in time for the weekend - but unions are calling for drivers to keep up the strike.

A nationwide strike by train drivers has affected passengers since Tuesday evening. There are still some TGV and TER cancellations - especially in the south-east of France - and a number of night trains will not be running this evening.

However the SNCF says a near-normal service will run on most of the network. It claims that 83% of TGVs are running, 75% of local TER services, 75% of Intercité departures, 57% of Téoz trains and 90% of Transilien services into and out of Paris during rush hour. The RER should be running as normal.

The CGT and Sud transport unions have dismissed the claims and have called on members to step up their protest. They are demanding 2,000 extra jobs to be created and a stop to a restructuring of the SNCF's heavily loss-making freight operation.

Transport Secretary Dominique Bussereau has described the strike as "pointless" and said the proposed reforms were needed because the SNCF lost almost €1bn last year.

Passengers who had hoped to travel this weekend can cancel their reservation and get a full refund, regardless of the type of ticket they purchased.

Live train info for major stations
Paris suburban routes
TER local services in your area

SNCF helpline: 0805 90 36 35

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