France

Strike to hit French railways Thursday

TGV trains at Paris's Gare du Nord
TGV trains at Paris's Gare du Nord Reuters/Charles Platiau

French rail traffic will be hit by strike action on Thursday with three out of 10 mainline trains likely to be cancelled and disruption on the Paris regional network.

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The strike, the second called by unions opposed to a reform on the state-owned rail company, is likely to be less effective than the previous one in June because one major union has pulled out of the strike call.

Public transport workers are obliged to tell their emplyers if they intend to take part in a strike ahead of the action, allowing the SNCF rail company to predict that seven out of 10 mainline trains will run and that the Eurostar and Thalys services to London and Brussels will not be affected.

Six out of 10 TV high-speed trains are expected to run, except for in the east of the country where traffic will be "almost normal".

The RER network that links the region around Paris to the capital will suffer delays, however, with only one in four trains on the line B, which goes to Charles de Gaulle airport, running and half the trains likely to be cancelled on the C, D and E lines.

Unions claim that the reorganisation of the company could lead to its break-up and fear that their conditions of employment could be worsened.

The strike starts at 7.00pm on Wednesday and ends 8.00am on Friday.

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