French railways disrupted for second day

A strike caused disruptions to French rail traffic for a second day today, although the protest appeared to be winding down as unions said they were satisfied with concessions from the national rail operator.

A strike caused disruptions to French rail traffic for a second day today, although the protest appeared to be winding down as unions said they were satisfied with concessions from the national rail operator.

The disruption was less than yesterday. Most international trains, including Eurostar service to London and Thalys trains to Brussels, operated as normal, and two out of three high-speed TGV trains were running.

There were delays on domestic and commuter lines. A separate one-day strike today on the Paris Metro over pay and benefits caused barely any disruptions in the morning rush-hour.

Only one of the 14 Metro lines was affected.

Union leaders were prepared to recommend a halt to the SNCF strike during a meeting today, said Didier Le Reste, head of the rail workers’ division of the powerful Communist-backed CGT union.

Traffic was expected to return to normal by tomorrow, the SNCF said. Four unions called the walkout to protest what they see as creeping privatisation of the train operator – despite repeated government assurances that rail privatisation is not planned.

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