I see people asking the same questions in multiple threads about which modes of transportation will be affected during the upcoming 3-month-long SNCF strike so I thought I would address this question here.
First, the strike will be two days out of five. Here is the strike calendar:
1) MODES OF TRANSPORTATION CONCERNED = All trains operated by the SNCF, which is the national railway company:
- all long-distance and inter-city trains (TGV, Intercités, Ter)
2) IN THE PARIS TRANSIT SYSTEM, there will be NO IMPACT on:
- the métro
- buses, trams
- Roissybus and Orlybus
- RER A and the portion of RER B south of Gare du Nord*
3) HOW BAD WILL THE STRIKE BE?
No one knows yet but even on strike days, some trains run. Check the transportation websites 48 to 24 hours before your planned trip to see which trains will be running. Normally, at least one train out of four to three trains out of four run, depending on the types of trains and lines but there can be close to no trains outside rush hour, it has happened before. But again, no one knows for sure yet.
4) WHAT IF MY BOOKED LONG-DISTANCE TRAIN IS CANCELED?
You should be notified by mail. Go to the website you booked from to see if you can set up alerts.
If your train is canceled, you will be allowed to board any other train on the same route that day, whether it is before or after your scheduled train.
If you do not use your ticket on another train, your ticket will be refunded, even non-refundable tickets (except on OUIGO trains: you will get a voucher for another OUIGO train only).
5) ALTERNATE ROUTES AROUND PARIS
The Paris transit system is quite dense and CDG airport and Versailles are accessible via non-SNCF-operated routes. For instance:
- To get to Versailles without depending on the SNCF, you can take bus 171 from métro Pont de Sèvres at the end of line 9. It will drop you off outside the château.
* (Because RER B is managed by both the RATP and the SNCF, sometimes, during a strike, you must get off at Gare du Nord and change trains before continuing your trip on RER B.)
Expect operating trains to be busier than usual, possibly overcrowded at certain times (buses from/to the airport may be unusually crowded too as a result). It may be more difficult to get a taxi too as more people will resort to using a taxi. Since more commuters will be using their cars, there may be more traffic jams and rush hour may last longer (in case you are taking Roissybus or renting a car for a trip for instance).Edited: 17 March 2018, 08:04