French Rail Network update as reported on 23 March 2020 midnight.
The Covid-19 outbreak has been growing rapidly across Europe and other continents, at the time of this article publishing France has already recorded 16684 confirmed cases with 674 deaths. Less than a week ago, President Emmanuel Macron announced that schools and universities would be closed. Almost within 48 hrs the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, ordered the closure of cafes, bars, cinemas, and theatres, hence the French joie de vivre is over.
SNCF (The Société nationale des chemins de fer français), France's national state-owned railway company, since its inception in 1938, probably is witnessing it's first forced to shut down and with immediate effect will be reducing its frequency of TGV INOUI, OUIGO, Intercités trains, and connecting TER regional trains.
As per the information published on sncf.com: "All ticket booths and sales offices will remain closed until further notice. Travelers are advised not to go to train stations to purchase, reschedule, exchange or get a refund for tickets on TGV INOUI, OUIGO, Intercités, Lyria, Eurostar and Thalys. Staffing for remote customer relations—via telephone, email and social media—is reduced due to the unusually high number of queries coming in."
Kindly also make a note that at all Stations since Wednesday, 18 March, the SNCF team is no longer able to offer booking and in-station assistance to people with disabilities and limited mobility also.
In this trouble times, travelers should not worry as if their journey is canceled a full refund is assured or rescheduling is possible. Right now what is the priority is your own health. As of now the above state will remain till midnight 29 March 2020 and can be extended further based on the official regulatory as announced.
Travel Help Desk by FASTTalks :
FASTTalks is a sustainable tourism company promoting France, Italy, Monaco, Vatican, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands. Their officials are closely monitoring all the network of TGV INOUI, OUIGO, Intercités, Lyria, Eurostar and Thalys, they will be happy to assist travelers with any of their queries related to their forthcoming travel tickets, irrespective of from where you have bought them. All you need to do is send us your details on fasttalks[at]outlook[dot]com
Photo credit (banner): © Letizia Le Fur
Disclaimer: The content of the above article is the latest information as recorded on 23rd March 2020 midnight and all changes/updates will be further reported in the posts in the coming days. Information sourced is directly from the operating train official portals and government authorities in France and has been reported as received.