Will we have trains for Christmas? While uncertainty hangs over the holiday season, SNCF sent a reassuring message on Tuesday, declaring that it would be ready to transport travelers if the health situation continues to improve. Asked about Europe 1, the group’s CEO, Jean-Pierre Farandou, explained that his teams were on the bridge to best prepare the return of travelers in the trains. “SNCF is ready, of course. We already have plans to be able to raise the level of TGV supply“Said the boss of the company.
The rail group stands ready to “raise the level of TGV services», Which caps today at 30% of normal. This level may be revised upwards “to ensure that each French person has their own train to leave for family celebrations», Declared the boss of the SNCF. “On some lines, we are ready to go up to 100%“, He said, adding that his teams would be”delighted to welcome all [leurs] clients»On board the trains.
SEE ALSO – Trains for Christmas: “SNCF is ready”, assures Jean-Pierre Farandou
«SNCF is fully mobilized», Assured the representative of the group. The company will in particular be able to draw on its experience of the first confinement to plan the coming weeks. However, the firm must first obtain the “go sanitary” of the government. “The government must be able to tell us, 10 to 15 days before: you can go“. We are waiting for this decision, which should take place at the end of November or the very beginning of December, ”hoped Jean-Pierre Farandou.
The SNCF indeed needs several days to prepare its teams and rolling stock for the return of travelers. “We must ensure that each TGV train that will be mobilized on departures is impeccable. We have about 500 trainsets, they all have to be picked up in the workshops to make sure they are ready. […] We want zero breakdowns», Explained the boss of the railway group. The day before, the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, declared for his part to have “asked SNCF to be ready. If the health situation allows, there will be trains for the Christmas holidays from mid-December“, He said on Twitter.
The French must “dare »Book their tickets now
In addition, the group’s representative called on travelers to take their tickets as soon as possible, recalling that they would in any case be exchangeable and refundable in the event of the inability to travel. “Many places are open today for reservations», But few French people have taken the plunge. “They wait a little until the last moment to take their tickets. They must dare to do it», Urged Jean-Pierre Farandou. Booking now will notably allow travelers to take advantage of the company’s low prices, at a time when prices are generally higher than average. “When we wait until the last moment, the low prices are gone“Warned the boss of the group.
For the moment, and while awaiting arbitration by the executive, uncertainty hangs over the end of year celebrations. Thursday, Jean Castex explained that the restrictions in force should allow the epidemic to roll back enough to allow “a new reduction at the time of the Christmas holidays, so that the French can spend the end of the year holidays with their family“. But he is “a little earlyTo get his train tickets, he nuanced. And, even if relief is in fact granted, it would not be “not reasonable” to plan “big parties for several dozen people».
What arouse the suspicion of travelers, so far reluctant to buy their tickets: mid-November, according to Europe 1, SNCF reservations for this year-end period were down 55% compared to a normal period.