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The only TGV in Normandy, Le Havre-Rouen-Marseille, is it in danger of disappearing?

A single TGV goes from Le Havre to Rouen then Marseille.  Is it threatened?
A single TGV goes from Le Havre to Rouen then Marseille. Is it threatened? (©JB/76actu/Illustration)

According to Christophe Callay, general secretary of the sector CGT Railwaymen Normandy“there is no doubt that the strategy of the SNCF it is quite simply within a few months to decide that Normandy’s only TGV which departs daily from Havrethrough Rouen and arrives at Marseille no longer needs to be. “For its part, the SNCF maintains that the new timetables which are to be applied next December aim to “attract more travelers to this link”.

” It is unacceptable ”

The union warns by means of a press release and maintains that “it is inadmissible. A few years ago we had two destinations leaving from Normandy and via a TGV, Strasbourg and Marseilles. Today the TGV Le Havre-Rouen bound for Marseille is the only one still working daily ».

And according to Christophe Callay, the attendance of this TGV is important. “We see it especially during holidays or weekends, when it circulates normally, that is to say especially when there is no work like this summer, the train is full and during the week outside school holidays, it is mainly people who work who frequent it and it is estimated that it is then 70% full. »

Asked for precise attendance figures, the SNCF indicated: “These data are now considered confidential since the opening of the high-speed market to competition. »

A change of schedules but why?

Still according to the union, the SNCF would plan to change the train schedules.

Today we leave at 7.49am from Le Havre and at 8.37am from Rouen, he arrives in Mantes-la-Jolie at 9.26am where many people from Lower Normandy take him to reach Marseilles at 2.23pm. With the change of schedule, according to a forecast it will leave at 3:41 p.m. to arrive at 10:24 p.m. Suffice to say that for those who work it is not at all comfortable.

Christophe CallayCGT Railway workers

Towards a total shutdown of the line?

Same thing for the return, “today we leave Marseille at 3:36 p.m., we arrive in Mantes at 8:29 p.m., Rouen at 9:14 p.m. and Le Havre at 10:05 p.m. According to our forecasts, the departure would be in December at 7:45 a.m. for an arrival in Le Havre at 2:31 p.m. According to the union, “this decision will certainly lead to a drop in attendance and eventually a total stoppage of the line ».

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An argument refuted by the SNCF: “Timetables change both for operational reasons and in order to attract more travelers on this link.
These new timetables allow Norman travelers to arrive in the evening in Lyon and Marseille, bearing in mind that less than half of the travelers on this route departing from Normandy go to the south-east of France. »

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These new timetables are also more attractive for travelers going to Normandy at the weekend, allowing them to arrive in Le Havre or Rouen on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday afternoon,

SNCF

“A clear decline in public service”

But for Christophe Callay, the objective would be to “separate from the transverse lines and thus force people to go to Paris from where they can actually reach Marseille but after a change. It is therefore a clear setback for the public service”.

The union indicates that it questioned Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of the SNCF, on the subject, Friday September 9, 2022, when he came to Normandy. “He clearly evaded the subject and did not answer us. “The union insists:” The CGT will not be satisfied with this decline especially at a time when we want to encourage people to use alternative modes of transport to the road. “And to support:” It will act in convergence with user associations for another conception of public service. »

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