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Rail strike

Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#1
Arriving CDG from New Zealand on the 8th April to travel to SJPDP on the 9th by train already booked 8am out of Montparnais. there are two of us what do you think we should do.
 

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mspath

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#2
Arriving CDG from New Zealand on the 8th April to travel to SJPDP on the 9th by train already booked 8am out of Montparnais. there are two of us what do you think we should do.
Pray and take your chances! The rr workers are planning to strike ad hoc on the lines during the spring. There is no official list of when and what trains will be blocked. If your train is blocked in all probability another train will be offered you. As of now 3 TGV trains are listed as running on the regular Paris/Montparnasse to Bayonne schedule for April 9 at 07:52, 09:52 and 12:52.

Try not to worry; often in the past long distance trains were the last to be cancelled.

If the connecting local TER train from Bayonne to SJPdP is on strike in all probabily a bus will be provided.

For more re the strikes in English see -- https://www.thelocal.fr/20180316/fr...-are-the-37-days-to-avoid-travelling-by-train
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18)
#3
I have a ticket on the same train, and also have concerns.

The reality is that this could all be a bunch of puffery by the parties, and not much will happen, or it could deteriorate into a general strike tying up Paris for weeks, or anything in between. My contingency plan is to fly, although the air traffic controllers have been known to walk off as well!

The camino begins, this time weeks before departure. we don't know what will happen, nobody does. I'm going to watch the news, and deal with the facts on the ground when I have to, rather than worrying too much about things I can't control. With any luck, we'll be on that train. Either way, there will be a way to get south at some point. The Camino provides.
 

Anniesantiago

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Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Frances nearly every year and 19 various Camino routes 2006 through 2018
#4
Chances are, if the strike holds, there will be others in your position.
Years ago, we were scheduled to take a ferry to Ireland, and needed to get to the dock from Mont Saint Michele - a several hour train ride. There was a rail strike and we met a couple in the station going to the same place so we just shared a taxi.
 

JulieandPeter

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (April/May 2015)
Frances (May/June 2017)
Planning Le Puy to SJPDP (August/September 2018)
#5
Hi,
Easy Jet has a flight at 2:40 pm out of CDG on 4/8 to Biarritz for 105 euros (80 if you only have a carry-on) - arriving at 4:05 p.m. You can book a ride from the airport www.expressbourricot.com .

The opposite happened to us 4/9/15 - we had a flight from Paris to Biarritz reserved and there was an air traffic control strike. We ended up on a train. Only first class tickets left and no reserved seats. We were lucky to find a pull down seat between cars (many others were not so lucky). It was the first memorable day of many, and I would not change a thing.

However, it's always good to have a back up plan . . . . if you do decide to fly and you are going to check your packs, make sure you pay for your bags and print your boarding passes online because Easy Jet has a lot of hidden costs.

Buen Camino. The Camino is stunning in April.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
First time pilgrim and walking solo. Leaving SJDP around April 5, 2018.
#7
I just purchased a bus ticket from Bordeaux to Bayonne for April 4. A number of busses were already booked, so I'm glad I did this now. I went ahead and bought a connecting train ticket from Bayonne to SJPdP (couldn't really find a bus option), and am now just hoping for the best. I have a prepaid hotel in SJPdP for April 4 through Booking.com that says it's non-refundable and not changeable... but I told the hotel staff which train I'm on and will hope for the best if I do get stuck in Bayonne for the 4th instead of SJPdP. I can work out the accommodations, no problem. I just didn't want to burn one of the extra nights built into my itinerary trying to get to the start line. Good luck!
 

GettingThere

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Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
#8
Arriving CDG from New Zealand on the 8th April to travel to SJPDP on the 9th by train already booked 8am out of Montparnais. there are two of us what do you think we should do.
Terry in my experience of French rail strikes (several!) they don't normally stop all trains. There will usually be a few still running to cover main routes, but not necessarily at the time you have booked. I would go ahead anyway, keep checking the SNCF website for info on services running, and plan to get to the station early and wait around if necessary. I vividly remember once many years ago waiting in a crowd for a train from Paris to somewhere on a strike day and when the platform number went up indicating the train was ready for boarding everyone started running! I'm sure it won't be that bad...!

For some routes like the one from Bayonne to SJPdP they may put on replacement buses, but again maybe not for all the normal train times. Ditto the website. If you can allow yourself the time and not worry if it takes you a little longer to get there, you will be fine. And you get to add to your French vocab: a strike is une grève!

Bonne chance from a fellow kiwi, and buen Camino!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#9
Usually, most intercity trains and many (not all) of the TGV still run during a strike, but the local train up to SJPP may be more affected.

It really depends on just how bad this particular strike will be though.

You'll manage to get there somehow, just make sure that if you need to switch to another train, try to get to it early to try and ensure seating -- failing that, get quick to the bar carriage to grab one of the seats there before anyone else. Not the most comfortable, but certainly better than the fold-out ones at the ends of the carriages.

Bonne chance, et bon pélé !!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#10
In September 2016 we arrived at Bayonne station to be faced with a train strike. There were a few other pilgrims looking around so we rounded up enough to share two taxis to St Jean. The taxi rank is outside the station and there is a phone number on a board to call if there are no taxis waiting. I think it worked out about 30 euros each with 4 passengers.
 

GraemeHall

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017/18
#11
There is local information available in English here: https://en.oui.sncf/en/train/strike .There is a link where you can check whether your train will be running, but it may only work if you booked your ticket directly through their (English) website.
I booked mine through their French website and had to go there to check it out. Seems to be still running (22 March - when there is another big spike to enable the drivers to participate in a huge demonstration in Paris).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portugues (June-2018)
#12
In June 2016, there was a strike, the TGV was not affected, just some local trains. We were stuck in Bayonne for a couple of hours, but buses were provided.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#14
I am due to arrive in Paris at CDG end of May with two friends and we have recently made our train reservations to Le Puy to start our walk. I have just been informed by one of them who is on the FB Le Puy group that there is a train strike coming in April. She sent me a screenshot photo of the months of April, May and June, showing blue circles covering many of the dates of travel. Looks like our travel date will be ok, but we are not sure going back to the airport a month later.

Is this strike a sure thing? Do they ever end early? I never use trains in the US so am rather clueless on all this. Oh, and do they give ticket refunds in these situations? Thanks for any input.
 

Tincatinker

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Lots ;0)
#15
Train strikes in France are like Blue Moons and kindnesses: sometimes they happen - sometimes they don't. Strikes advertised well in advance are the ones that usually don't whereas surprise ones are always a surprise.

The networks seldom close down for more than 24 hours. Its best to check a few days before travel.

Can't help on refunds. UK law ( mostly EC law) says 'yes'. SNCF (owned by the French state) may have a marginally different view. Tickets will always be valid on the next available train.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#16
Train strikes in France are like Blue Moons and kindnesses: sometimes they happen - sometimes they don't. Strikes advertised well in advance are the ones that usually don't whereas surprise ones are always a surprise.

The networks seldom close down for more than 24 hours. Its best to check a few days before travel.

Can't help on refunds. UK law ( mostly EC law) says 'yes'. SNCF (owned by the French state) may have a marginally different view. Tickets will always be valid on the next available train.
Thank you! Tinky, you have made me much less troubled. I will sleep better tonight...lol!
 

Kanga

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Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#20
I've just merged these two threads. Hope all the posts still make sense. There seems no point in separate discussions.

Due to a wildcat train strike in France one year (on a local line) my husband would have missed our international flight home but for the quick action of the station manager, who shoved him into the drivers cab of a mainline train just leaving. So we now always made sure we arrive at our departure city the day before. That gives us 24 hours extra, just in case something goes wrong.

And I agree with @Tincatinker - in both Spain and France the strikes you know about are not the problem!
 

Suzyq26.2

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Camino(s) past & future
1 st jean to Muxia
#21
Hi Suzyq.. was the shuttle something you need to book in advance and is it from the Airport or Bayonne? Thanks
They picked up at the airport. I can't remember the transport, but we paid $40 cash. I can contact my friend who booked us if you can't find a shuttle van.
 

t2andreo

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Frances: 2013, 2014
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#23
Vive la France! When traveling there, especially on trains, always allow extra time for things like this. Strikes like discussed above are just part of the local culture. Remember, it is not personal. Enjoy the cultural experience. Go with the flow...
 

JabbaPapa

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Camino(s) past & future
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#25
Today was the first big day of the strike season, and it seems that about a third of the rail employees followed it -- the % will probably get lower ongoing, but even so, it seems likely that long-distance trains should be not too badly reduced on strike days (with some regional variations probably), whilst local trains more likely will be.

Our local bus company was not affected by the strike at all BTW, though the postal delivery seems to have been.

So these matters are likely to be quite variable from place to place and from day to day. For those seeking local transport from say Biarritz to SJPP, thing is I guess to look for more local reports.

Take note -- 3 of the June strike days are the day after France will be playing in the World Cup, so those particular travel dates should be more seriously avoided, though the morning and day before the matches should probably be OK (BTW the whole country basically ground to a standstill the evening and day after France matches when France both hosted and won the competition). No French teams left in the UEFA Champions League though means that those dates are safer, though the first 2 days of the quarter finals are strike days. 13th April should probably be avoided though as it's a strike day on the morrow of Marseilles' Europa League return game.

(this all might sound silly to many people in here, but it's long been a facet of French life that when a strike coincides with an important football match, there are more people on strike than otherwise ; though this does vary regionally and locally)

caveat though, this is not a strike purely motivated by football, so that choosing travel dates based on non-playing days won't necessarily work -- but I would still suggest that 13th April, and 17th, 22nd and 27th June should be avoided. Probably much of the month of May too, as not only is it the 50th anniversary of Mai 68, quite apart from being THE traditional strike month, but some people have been making it quite clear that they want to have a more serious go than usual at protesting the French Government. Plus all of the usual May Bank Holidays.
 
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JabbaPapa

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#26
The rail worker unions have been making some threats about toughening their action, and yesterday was pretty bad it seems, with some major conflict between strikers and riot police.

Be advised, and be prepared.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#27
I am not as concerned about our train reservation from CDG to Le Puy on May 31st, but am becoming concerned about leaving to go back to CDG from Moissac on June 27th to fly home on the 28th. I cannot miss my flight! Moissac, other than train service, does not seem to have bus service. On Rome2Rio, it seems every option starts out with train service from Moissac. I even wonder about the possibility of taking a taxi back to Cahors as it's a larger city, so maybe more options doing that?

If I can "trust" the strike schedule of blackout dates, I could end my camino a day earlier in Moissac, then head to my airport hotel a day earlier by train, spending two nights there. But then I'd have a boring dead day at the hotel. I've been to Paris before and one day there isn't enough time to bother with imo. I hear about BlaBlaCar, but the website isn't working well for me. I wonder if it is even an option as it's a very long day back up to CDG.

Anyone have any comments on all my alternative thoughts? It also doesn't seem like the Le Puy route is serviced very well by buses along the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Camino Frances (2017) but missed a piece so returning next month to do it!
#28
I just purchased a bus ticket from Bordeaux to Bayonne for April 4. A number of busses were already booked, so I'm glad I did this now. I went ahead and bought a connecting train ticket from Bayonne to SJPdP (couldn't really find a bus option), and am now just hoping for the best. I have a prepaid hotel in SJPdP for April 4 through Booking.com that says it's non-refundable and not changeable... but I told the hotel staff which train I'm on and will hope for the best if I do get stuck in Bayonne for the 4th instead of SJPdP. I can work out the accommodations, no problem. I just didn't want to burn one of the extra nights built into my itinerary trying to get to the start line. Good luck!
Hi All,
I needed to get the train to SJPDP from Bayonne last fall, to find there was a random 1 day strike. There were MANY people in the same boat, and Pilgrims stuck out as we wear back packs and hiking shoes. Met my first friends of the Camino by walking up to strangers and asking if they would like to share a taxi to SJ. Cost us each 20 euros, and the trip was under an hour. Awesome.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#29
The SCNF trains to Bayonne on 29 April, claim they are all full, meaning train strike. Planning on finding a cheap flight now.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#30
Hi Janet, So glad that worked out for you, but doubt I will fare so well trying to get from Moissac, France back up to CDG Paris airport as it's a 7-9 hour bus or car ride, and it seems buses are not as prevelant in the area where I will be, not to mention no throngs of pilgrims will be heading back. My planned day of travel is one of the planned strike days on June 27th...I sure hope it is all resolved before then!
 

GraemeHall

New Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017/18
#31
Train strikes in France are like Blue Moons and kindnesses: sometimes they happen - sometimes they don't. Strikes advertised well in advance are the ones that usually don't whereas surprise ones are always a surprise.

The networks seldom close down for more than 24 hours. Its best to check a few days before travel.

Can't help on refunds. UK law ( mostly EC law) says 'yes'. SNCF (owned by the French state) may have a marginally different view. Tickets will always be valid on the next available train.
SNCF emailed me offering a full refund, as well as other options.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#32
I am not as concerned about our train reservation from CDG to Le Puy on May 31st, but am becoming concerned about leaving to go back to CDG from Moissac on June 27th to fly home on the 28th. I cannot miss my flight! Moissac, other than train service, does not seem to have bus service. On Rome2Rio, it seems every option starts out with train service from Moissac. I even wonder about the possibility of taking a taxi back to Cahors as it's a larger city, so maybe more options doing that?
My advice is -- think like a pilgrim.

(including because look as hard as I can, on the French internet, not only are there indeed no bus services, but the local bus lines that do exist nearby look like they're participating in the strike)

Moissac to Montauban (which is the closest city, though it's a small one) is about a 25 K walk, which you could make easier by pushing 7-8 K along the cycling route along the canal to Castelsarrasin, where you'll surely find somewhere to sleep. From there, a 15 K or so to the city outskirts, or maybe you can get a taxi, or maybe the local trains will be running, or some mix'n'match of these ?

Or even head south from Lauzette to Lafrançaise (leaving the GR somewhere around Durfort-Lacapelette), and from there next day to Montauban, but that would require roughing it for one night somewhere, as reasonable accommodation on that route seems to be non-existent. It's the sort of thing I might do, but that's not everybody's cup of tea :eek: o_O

So the first idea about a detour through Castelsarrasin would clearly be better, as it's a short one day hike from there into Montauban, from where some sort of transport out will be achievable -- both TGV and Intercity trains, which should be a lot less affected, stop there ; and there are long-distance private bus companies operating there too.
 

Keith Hassan

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Camino Frances in March/April 2018
#33
As others have already said, don't worry. My train from Bayonne to SJPP was cancelled due to strike action on 2 March. There were some others there in the same predicament. We managed to negotiate a good price for a taxi, €17.50 each for 4 of us. I'm now in Hospital de Óbrigo and loving every minute of it.
 

JabbaPapa

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#34
hmmmm, the information we've had so far seems to be now out of date ...

See : https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2018/...lle-greve-reconductible-a-la-sncf_a_23393794/

So it seems there'll be a tougher strike action starting on the 2nd April, and the SUD-Rail unionists will be deciding on a day-to-day basis whether to continue striking the following day. Whether the other unions follow suit or not, or stick to their calendar, is an unknown.

Otherwise, whether you'll have a train or not on any particular day, is something that really cannot be known 'til about 24 to 48 hours before, although the first few days of the strike in the beginning of April seem like they'll be the toughest of all with maximum train cancellations.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2018
#35
I'm booked on a train from Montparnasse (Paris) to SJPDP on Sunday April 8th which according to the calendar diagram is a strike day. Any thoughts about whether or not I should consider rescheduling to the Saturday as it is a no strike day? (I arrive on Friday and planned a couple of day in Paris before heading out but could easily let that go) Any thoughts would be appreciated. This is my first Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First time pilgrim and walking solo. Leaving SJDP around April 5, 2018.
#36
I'm booked on a train from Montparnasse (Paris) to SJPDP on Sunday April 8th which according to the calendar diagram is a strike day. Any thoughts about whether or not I should consider rescheduling to the Saturday as it is a no strike day? (I arrive on Friday and planned a couple of day in Paris before heading out but could easily let that go) Any thoughts would be appreciated. This is my first Camino.
This is my first camino as well (leave next Monday!), so I do not have specific experience with getting to SJDpD... yet. However, I do have a lot of experience getting around Western Europe during a transportation strike. *If* you have the option to travel to SJPdP on another day other than a planned strike day... do it just to be safe and make life easier on you. You can see Paris for a few days at the end of your camino instead, like a reward. Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2018
#37
This is my first camino as well (leave next Monday!), so I do not have specific experience with getting to SJDpD... yet. However, I do have a lot of experience getting around Western Europe during a transportation strike. *If* you have the option to travel to SJPdP on another day other than a planned strike day... do it just to be safe and make life easier on you. You can see Paris for a few days at the end of your camino instead, like a reward. Buen camino!

Thanks for the feedback SeattleJen. I wonder too, based on what's written above about the unpredictable nature of the strikes, if changing my ticket is a bit of a gamble? What I mean is, is it possible that the planned strike days change and then fall on my new planned travel day? On the one hand I'm grateful for knowing that there is a strike and have the opportunity to plan ahead, however, I wonder if I should let go and see what happens given the unpredictability of these strikes? Eeep!
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#38
My own concern about the train strike is very unsettling as I end my walk in Moissac, France, a 9+ hour journey back to the CDG Paris airport and tentatively planned my return on a blackout strike day before I knew of it, although not yet purchased the ticket. There are very few options beyond trains to get back to CDG from this region of France and there will be very few stranded pilgrims on this much less traveled route to band together with. The best alternative option I can think of is taking a very expensive taxi ride to some other town or city that has bus or airport.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#39
The best alternative option I can think of is taking a very expensive taxi ride to some other town or city that has bus or airport.
As I said, Chris, your best option would be to walk to Montauban.

Via Moissac.

Yes that would make your projected section this year 25K longer (and if you were as much of a "purist" as I am, you might want to make your follow-up section start with a Montauban to Moissac)-- but on my part this is an unknown, as I have no idea what your daily averages will be like at that end of your Way this year -- I also don't know if you're walking alone or in company ; all of these things have their importance.

My underlying point though is that with not that much effort and perhaps a bit of walking faster than planned, you can walk into a city centre and then plan an escape more effectively therefrom than from the large bourg / small town Moissac.

This is just a suggestion for you personally of course -- there's no one-size-fits-all magic bullet on the Camino, except the Apostle himself.

But the walking is easy around Montauban/Moissac, the distances are small, hiking routes and accommodation exist (if you're careful), and it's not a trap. Useful trains may exist in Montauban even in the strike, long-distance bus companies exist there, plus you'll get at least 1-2 days' insight into a less touristified Camino experience, a more trusting one.
 

Camino Chris

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#40
@JabbaPapa, Thank you so much for putting more clarity to what you posted yesterday. I will definately look into the Montauban option to see if something can work out from there. I may PM you with questions later on if needed. Do you live in France or know if the proposed strike ever ends earlier? Just curious.

I am traveling with two girlfriends, but we have only walked on the Spain caminos. Our preference is 20-25 kilometers a day, but I suppose after the first two weeks we will be stronger to walk longer if need be.
 

JabbaPapa

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#41
Do you live in France or know if the proposed strike ever ends earlier? Just curious.
Yes I do, and this strike will probably last until the Government caves in and abandons its plans, or changes them to the Unions' satisfaction, as happens almost systematically. I personally doubt that the strike will last all of the way into June, but it might very well get nastier than advertised in May. (but do still try and avoid travelling during France's World Cup match days nor the evening previous)

I am traveling with two girlfriends, but we have only walked on the Spain caminos. Our preference is 20-25 kilometers a day, but I suppose after the first two weeks we will be stronger to walk longer if need be.
Then you'll be able to manage Moissac to Montauban easily in one day, perhaps with a short morning stop at Castelsarrasin for a break and some munchies and fresh water / second breakfast.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#42
The French Government appears to be making some effort to try and avert the strike -- it remains to be seen if it will be at all successful (I'm not optimistic, personally).
 

JabbaPapa

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#43
Well, the advice for this week is to completely avoid trying to travel by rail after 7 PM on Monday, and all day Tuesday and Wednesday.
 

JabbaPapa

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#44
The head of the SNCF has announced that train timetables will be given at 5 PM on the day before any strike day, and that all trains on those timetables are "guaranteed" to run.

Also, anyone who has a reservation for those days will be contacted, where possible, by e-mail if their train is cancelled.

Finally, for the time being, no reservations are possible for trains running on strike days -- this is particularly important for those in here wondering about why they may be unable to reserve tickets for certain dates ; i.e. it's not because those trains are already full.

So just because reservations are closed does not mean that the trains will be packed like sardine tins.
 

JabbaPapa

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#46
77% of the train drivers are striking on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Only 12% of TGV trains will be running ; but apparently the Monday evening trains will be mostly normal.

The first two days of the strike will likely be worse than the later strike days, but given how drastically it's starting, the other strike days may be very poor too.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#47
I have booked trains, both to and from CDG on non-strike days, (May 31 and June 26) so hope all will be fine. I did choose to leave Moissac a day earlier than I originally wanted in order to select a non-strike day returning to the airport, but this will be a good thing as it gives me more time to scramble for a bus if train travel becomes unpredictable.

A big thank you to those of you have helped me in my decision making process as it helped bring clarity to a stressful situation.
 

Camino Chris

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#49
Well, my pilgrimage is IN France, so I have no choice (but I do have a bus backup plan if needed).
 

denimich

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino 2016
#50
Hello
I am French
Attention strike actions in France Traffic of trains very disrupted from Tuesday, April 3rd to the end of June

Verify the trains of April 3rd on https://en.oui.sncf/en/ the App SNCF and our other information channels, then every day at 5 pm for the trains of the next day

You can travel by bus https://www.busradar.com/?currency=EUR

Or use the ride sharing. https://www.blablacar.co.uk

It's better to avoid transport by train during the strikes
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#51
Air France will also be on strike on Tuesday, as well as the 11th & 12th of April.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#52
As things stand now, apart from the TGVs, it looks like 12% of Intercity trains only will be running as well.

However, I've looked at the trains running tomorrow (3rd April, 1st day of strike), and there are 11 trains between Bordeaux and Hendaye -- but none between 10 AM and 3 PM.

There appear to be no trains whatsoever from Bayonne to SJPP.

---

aaaaaaand, especially for CaminoChris --- there are 6 trains and 4 buses running on the first day of the strike between Moissac and Montauban --- and 6 possibilities for trains from Moissac to Paris, via either Montauban or Agen. :cool:

---

People can check train times on this website : https://www.oui.sncf/services-train/fiches-horaires
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#53
Otherwise buses between Bayonne and SJPP :

Bayonne to Saint-Palais, line 811 : http://www.transports64.fr/IMG/pdf/cg64-tiu64-fh105x150-811-hiver-2.pdf

Saint-Palais to SJPP, line 810 : http://www.transports64.fr/IMG/pdf/...rt_saint_etienne_de_baigorry_au_1.07.2017.pdf

Bottom line, it requires taking the 811 from Bayonne at 7:15, 8:10, or 13:10 so as to not miss the last bus up to SJPP

To get there from Paris tomorrow would require taking the 6:52 or the 7:52 from Montparnasse, and yes they are running.

So it is therefore possible during to the strike to get to SJPP, even from Paris -- either same day by leaving very early indeed, or over two days by finding somewhere to sleep in Bayonne, or perhaps in Saint-Palais which is more of a Pilgrim place : http://www.saintpalais-tourisme.com...-gites-pelerins/gite-etape-chemins-bideak/987

(perhaps even consider starting in Saint-Palais rather than SJPP ?)

Hope this helps :)
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#54
JabbaPapa,
You offer such helpful advice to pilgrims needing to travel in France by train or bus during the uncertainty of the rail strike! I know you've helped alleviate some of my own fears. Thank you!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
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Camino(s) past & future
CF011, CF012, CP013, CF014, CA015, S.Anton015, CF015, CI015
Ditch Pig016, CF017, CP017, CdN(018)
#55
These strikes are sporatic and meant to disrupt normal life for the French, who only shrug at the inconvenience. God willing, you will make it to your destination sooner or later; the rail system is not going to go away at the stroke of midnight.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#56
It seems that South Eastern France, where I live, will be the area worst affected by this strike (luckily, for my own part, I virtually never need to take the train)

So the Pilgrims worst affected by this will be those wanting to start the Rome Way somewhere in the South of France, and wishing to get to their starting point by train ; although those wishing to start their Camino at Arles will also be affected, as well as those trying to make their way to Le Puy, or even Vézelay.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#57
One important detail I was wondering about -- on strike days, there will be NO trains running between France and Spain.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#58
One important detail I was wondering about -- on strike days, there will be NO trains running between France and Spain.
Although I have some fairly good options for defaulting to travel by bus, both going to Le Puy from CDG, and returning back from Moissac, I have purchased train tickets for both ways on NON strike days. Do you think the non-strike days will be honored and trains will run?
 

rappahannock_rev

Anglican Catholic Priest
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes, Burgos & SdeC 77; Frances 12, 15 & 17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes, Aragones 18
#59
I plan to travel from Toulouse to Lourdes on Saturday 19 May, and purchased my rail ticket some time ago..... I have a hunch that trains to Lourdes will go forward as scheduled. But I've now purchased a bus ticket for that day, too.

In for a penny, in for a pound.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#60
Do you think the non-strike days will be honored and trains will run?
The question is rather if the current non-strike days might not become strike ones -- which at present is frankly anyone's guess.

But given that trains existed between Moissac and Paris on the 1st day of the strike, it is quite likely that they will exist on your travel days too.

There are reports BTW that the long distance trains have been running with not all seats taken, presumably as people have opted to either travel on non-strike days or by other means of transport, or not to travel at all -- tourists have also seemingly been avoiding travelling in France.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#61
I plan to travel from Toulouse to Lourdes on Saturday 19 May, and purchased my rail ticket some time ago..... I have a hunch that trains to Lourdes will go forward as scheduled.
Looks like it, as a few such trains were running today.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
#62
I'm due to go from London to Bayonne on Saturday 19 May starting with an early Eurostar. If the cancellation pattern stays the same it's not looking good for anyone wanting to take an early Eurostar: https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption/service-information

Decisions decisions.... wait and see or book a flight... or a bus...
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#63
Getting to Bayonne in one day from London should still be feasible.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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#64
The current negociations between the Government and the Unions are in a very parlous and hostile state, so things are getting worse rather than better -- and the Unions are now talking about extending the strikes beyond the end of June.

The Air France strike is also worsening, so that Pilgrims flying to or from France should use different companies.
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#65
Thanks for providing the updates on the rail strike, Jabba. :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#66
Things are not so bad now as on the first two strike days -- 3 trains today for instance from Bayonne to SJPP, including the 9 PM one, getting up there at about 10:30, which will clearly keep various travel plans to SJPP viable as they weren't on Tuesday and Wednesday -- if today's strike action is indicative of how it will proceed in the weeks and months to come.
 

Jim_Hyde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela the whole 1,000 miles in April / May 2018
#67
I got an email from SNCF yesterday saying tomorrows train from Lyon to St Etienne may be cancelled, nothing about the St Etiene to Le Puy train, I will look again at the SNCF web site after 5pm. As an insurance I have booked a space in a car via the Blabla Car web site for 13.75 euros from Lyon to Le Puy, this doesn't go until the evening but at least it will get me there and I'll get a refund from SNCF. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

Jim_Hyde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela the whole 1,000 miles in April / May 2018
#70
No trains to Le Puy yesterday so I used Blabla car which worked well
 

Camino Chris

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#71
No trains to Le Puy yesterday so I used Blabla car which worked well
What was your starting point from when you used the Blablacar transport to Le Puy?

I have a prepaid train ticket from CDG to Le Puy on May 31st. It's a non-strike day, but who knows for sure. I think my 7-9 hour travel is probably too long a distance to use Blablacar.
 

Jim_Hyde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela the whole 1,000 miles in April / May 2018
#72
I started from Lyon as I had a pre - booked ticket. SNCF refunded this as it was a strike day. I had to travel slightly out of town centre for my lift but you can get a ticket for 1.9 euro which gives you an hours travel on any combo of metro tram or bus. You could try putting in Paris to Le Puy in the search for Blabla
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#73
Thank you, Jim. I did try to look at the Blablacar website last week, but nothing showed up for my distance needed. I'll just hope my pre-purchased train ticket works out for the non-strike day I travel, or I may check into a bus if an option..
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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#74
No trains to Le Puy yesterday so I used Blabla car which worked well
The whole Lyons to Marseilles & Nice & Montpellier sector is the worst affected.

But it is possible to get to Le Puy via Clermont-Ferrand (though more time-consuming)
 
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LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Portuguese 2016
GR10/Norte/Primitivo 2017
Chemin LePuy: 2018
#75
I started from Lyon as I had a pre - booked ticket. SNCF refunded this as it was a strike day. I had to travel slightly out of town centre for my lift but you can get a ticket for 1.9 euro which gives you an hours travel on any combo of metro tram or bus. You could try putting in Paris to Le Puy in the search for Blabla

Did you need to do something to initiate the refund from SNCF, or is it automatically done in their system?
 

Jim_Hyde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela the whole 1,000 miles in April / May 2018
#76
Did you need to do something to initiate the refund from SNCF, or is it automatically done in their system?
I went on the SNCF website and cancelled the ticket, the site knows the strike days and gives a no quibble refund
 

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