Unsanitary conditions in Ouigo trains: cockroaches, maggots, condemned toilets… the SNCF defends itself against the controversy

While the insalubrity of certain Ouigo trains has recently been denounced by the unions, the SCNF puts things into perspective.

“Unacceptable travel and working conditions”. In a press release of August 11 and relayed by Rue89the CGT denounced significant “maintenance problems”, pointing to recurring air conditioning breakdowns, clogged and condemned toilets, but also the presence of pests.

“Ouigo train sets travel a lot more kilometers than conventional TGVs, said Abdelkader Bensadoun, secretary of the CGT railway workers of Lyon Perrache at Rue 89. There are maintenance and unsanitary problems which would require certain trains to be withdrawn for more than a week to do substantive work.”

The SCNF relativizes

For its part, the low-cost subsidiary of the SCNF, cited by Le Figaro, said she was “surprised by this press release which only fuels a controversy. The problems have been identified, are already resolved or in the process of being resolved. It is not as black as what is described”.

“For air conditioning, she continues, the reliability rate is currently 99%. Admittedly, that leaves 1%. In the event of a breakdown, we distribute bottles of water or we replace travelers in another car. WC, in a Ouigo train there are eight of them, at the top and at the bottom so that leaves alternative solutions if some are closed.

As for the insects, the SNCF ensures that an “insecticide treatment was carried out for several nights in the car concerned”. “Due to the persistent presence of pests, another heavier treatment” required “the immobilization of the train for several days” at the end of July, she added. However, according to information from Rue89, live cockroaches and maggots were again observed on August 4 in the same train.

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