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French rail services returning to normal

SNCF clarifies refund situation for unused rail tickets over the weekend

Rail services across France are slowly returning to normal on Monday after three days of action disrupted the start of the Autumn school holidays, as SNCF issues an update on refunds for cancelled services over the weekend.

French train operator SNCF said on Monday that all TGV and Ouigo services are running as normal following three days of disruption, but warned of delays and cancellations on Intercité and TER services.

Two out of three Intercité services will run and three out of four TERs, with the situation expected to improve throughout the day. In Paris, Transilien and RER services are all running as normal.

Staff have been exercising their "right to withdraw" their labour - a clause in their contracts that allows workers to walk off the job in case of "clear and present danger to their life or health, and was prompted when 11 people were injured on Wednesday in a collision in eastern France between a regional train and a truck.

Rail services were severely hit across France from Friday to Sunday, notably in southern and western France, around Lyon and in the Paris region, rail operator SNCF said. No Ouigo services operated at all on Saturday.

Anyone affected by the disruption can claim compensation, if they hurry.

Travellers whose trains were cancelled, or who chose not to travel as a result of the disruption, can claim 100% of the ticket price back. This applies to all services, even budget tickets that are normally non-refundable.

Those who booked online can claim refunds on the SFR website, or from the ticket office or self-service points at any railway station. The SFR helpline 3635 can also help with refunds.

In order to make a claim you will need your ticket, plus your booking reference for online bookings.

If your ticket was for the budget Ouigo service, SNCF initially said users would 'automatically' be refunded, but later said that ticketholders would have to request a refund online.

Refunds for tickets to travel on Saturday must be claimed by Wednesday. Claims for tickets for travel on  Sunday must be made by Thursday.

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