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SNCF: how to find another emergency train for Christmas if yours has been canceled

You may be one of those who are directly affected by the strike action by SNCF controllers. Your train may in fact have been canceled more or less at the last minute and all the others towards your decision are full. Don’t panic, you have one last up-to-date card to spend Christmas with your loved ones.

Credits: elec/123rf

The bad news from the SNCF multiplied this week with users. This is the great debate that has been agitating France for a few days: with their strike movement, the controllers have drawn the wrath of many users by causing the cancellation of several trains for the Christmas weekend – even if it depends on the survival of an essential public service.

In recent days, the testimonies of desperate travelers have thus accumulated on social networks: all the trains for this weekend are obviously full, and many have resigned themselves to spending the holidays at home. However, all is not yet lost and a final solution exists. As Elliot Lepers explains on Twitter, Intercités trains are not affected by the current social movement.

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How to find an emergency train for Christmas

Let’s start with the beginning. Intercités are trains that travel all over France, generally passing through small towns that are poorly served by the main TGV lines. In fact, their journeys are generally much longer, on the one hand by the many stops made during the journey, but also by their much lower speed than that of the TGV and TER. Thus, it takes barely more than 2 hours for a Paris-Bordeaux by TGV, while an Intercités will arrive at its destination in 8 or even 9 hours. In return, however, the trip generally costs much less.

The problem, as Elliot Lepers points out, is that the SNCF site does not offer these Intercity journeys when you launch a search on its site. However, the latter are positioned as a miracle solution for those whose train has been canceled. Indeed, the strike movement largely concerns the TGVs, and many Intercités are still available for reservation for this weekend. In other words, you still have a chance to spend Christmas with your loved ones, even if you have to act quickly. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Meeting on the official booking site of the SNCF
  • Type your research in the fields provided for this purpose
  • Under the date, uncheck the box High-speed trains
  • Click on Find my route

sncf christmas tutorial

The SNCF will then offer you several routes that have been hidden until now on its site. It will certainly be necessary to make some concessions, in particular on the travel time, the fact of potentially traveling at night or even the non-guaranteed seat. Still, these Intercités will allow many travelers to reach their destination in time for the annual family meal.

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As a reminder, the SNCF has undertaken to reimburse 200% of travelers whose train has been canceled this week. This refund will be available in the form of vouchers for use on the company’s site. In addition, the company has warned users whose route has been maintained. If you have received an email from them telling you that your trip will take place, you can leave with peace of mind.

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