“Can do better,” admits rail chief

Mr Guillaume Pepy, Chairman of the Board of French train operator SNCF. Photo: © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons
Mr Guillaume Pepy, Chairman of the Board of French train operator SNCF. Photo: © Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons

The head of France’s SNCF has told his colleagues that the national train service operator can “do better” in 2017. His comment came in a video in which he wished his fellow railwaymen the best for 2017.

There were more delays on French railways in 2016 than in 2015, Guillaume Pepy said, due to a mixture of causes including strikes, work on the network, suspicious packages, floods and dead leaves.

From December 1, 2016, passengers whose trains are more than 30 minutes late can claim compensation, but the offer applies only to TGV and intercity services and not to the regional TER trains that serve Monaco Monte-Carlo.

The biggest disruption to rail travel during last year was the series of strikes during the summer against the government’s proposed changes to labour laws.

According to SNCF, 90.8 percent of TER trains were punctual during 2016, compared to 91.6 percent in 2015. A TER train is considered to be late-running if it is five or more minutes behind schedule.

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