France’s Minister of Transport loses patience with SNCF

Elisabeth Borne. Photo: Elisabeth Borne
Elisabeth Borne. Photo: Elisabeth Borne

France’s Minister of Transport, Elisabeth Borne, has written to the top management of French train operator SNCF after a succession of major and high profile incidents in recent days at several stations in Paris.

A computer bug at the beginning of December caused a major problem at Montparnasse, and this was followed on Saturday, December 23, by “an influx of travellers far greater (in number) than the capacity of the trains” at Bercy, she said.

A power failure at the major terminal, Saint-Lazare, on Tuesday, December 26, caused delays of up to two and a half hours. This electrical blackout also caused hours of delays and cancellations on the Cannes-Ventimiglia line on Boxing Day.

“All these incidents do not have the same level of seriousness, yet for many, especially for travellers affected by these incidents, the repetition of these situations appears incomprehensible and gives rise to legitimate exasperation,” Borne said in a letter, widely quoted in the French press.

A meeting between SNCF’s top managers and the minister has been called for January 8 to address the issue.


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