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One in 10 TGVs running late

Newspaper examines SNCF’s own figures and discovers France’s flagship rail service doesn’t always run on time

MORE than one in 10 TGV trains were late last year, according to a study.

Daily newspaper Le Parisien examined figures published on SNCF’s website and found that 11.7% of France’s flagship TGV trains were officially late arriving at their destinations.

The paper also discovered what it described as significant regional differences across the 50 main TGV lines in France.

Fewer than than 7% of trains on the Paris-Saint Malo line arrived late, compared to nearly 23% of trains travelling between Lyon and Marseille.

Of the 10 worst-operating lines, seven are on the Lyon-Marseille line, while those running on lines in southwest France, or connecting to Britain are generally on time.

An SNCF spokesman explained that 2013 was an unusual year. He said: “Last year was marked by major regeneration work, including many on summer weekends, and unusual weather.

“The Réseau Ferré de France has made significant investment to modernise the network.”

SNCF is working to cut the number of delays to TGVs. It is creating a number of “operational service centres” to quickly resolve problems on the lines.

According to SNCF’s own standards, a TGV is late when it arrives at its destination five minutes after the arrival time stated on the ticket, for a journey of 90 minutes or less. For longer trips - those between 90 minutes and three hours - the delay has to be 10 minutes, and 15 minutes for journeys of more than three hours.

Passengers may be eligible for compensation if SNCF is responsible for a delay of more than 30 minutes. The amount of money refunded on a ticket depends on the length of the delay.


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