Demand for TGV trains has failed to reach levels anticipated at the beginning of September, and train operator SNCF will now cancel some scheduled TGV journeys in the coming months. Around 5% of TGV trains will be impacted.
The company has said it will not cancel trains during school holidays.
Business travel down, holiday bookings ‘disappointing’
After a relatively good summer, in which people took the train to travel around France and visit friends and family, an SNCF spokesperson said: “Things have been difficult since September.”
Weekend TGV trains continue to see good passenger numbers, but weekday trains have been circulating at half capacity. Business travel is down 60-70%.
The company says reservations for the Christmas and New Year period have also been “disappointing”.
The spokesperson said: “It is not economically or ecologically responsible to run TGV trains with few passengers. That’s why, taking into account the impact of the health crisis, SNCF TGV have decided to cancel a certain number.”
SNCF TGV is estimated to have lost €3billion so far as a result of the Covid-19 health pandemic.
Cancellations may continue into 2021
The spokesperson said TGV train timetables could be “cancelled, adapted or extended throughout 2021, depending on how traffic evolves and the enduring context”.
To compensate for cancelled trains SNCF are trying to find alternatives for clients, such as suggesting TER train routes (which are slower) or integrating extra stops into existing TGV routes.
The two train routes expected to be impacted from November 2 are the TGV Paris-Mulhouse, and the TGV Paris-Le Creusot. Both routes will see one train per day cancelled.