Thursday, 15 November 2007

Train Strikes Round II - The Trains Strike Back

We are into the second day of our second lot of French train strikes and they don't look like they are going to be ending any time soon. At least the metros in the city are kind of running and one of the main train lines is still going as well. I don't think I'm real happy about that though, at least if no trains are running then there is no way that I can get to work. I have already been at home for the last two days and I feel I should at least try to get to work tomorrow. The problem is there is a way for me to get there, since there is a different main line train running than the one I usually catch. To give you an idea of the difference in journeys, normally there is a train about every 10 minutes from a station less than a minutes walk away from where I live. I get on this train, always get a seat for the 30 minute ride and I then catch a bus for about 10 minutes to work. Tomorrows journey will involve me catching a metro into the middle of Paris, catching a main line train, which will get me three quarters of the way to work, and then catching a bus for the rest of the way. The problem is there are about 10 million people living in greater Paris and they all want to get to work, but there are less than 1/3 of the normal number of trains running, and even when they are running at full capacity they are packed to the gills. It really is going to be horrible, and will probably take me nearly 2 hours to get to work, as opposed to the hour it takes me when everything runs smoothly. I also have to hope that I can still get home again after work and that the transport workers don't just down tools early to get a longer weekend.

The english newspapers were calling this a black month for Sarkozy and I'm starting to agree with them, though really I think it is more of a black month for the people of Paris, who are completely dependent on public transport to get around.

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