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PARIS

The Paris Metro and RER closures in August you need to know

A month of discontent, delays and disruption is in store for anyone using the Metro or RER services in Paris this August, as the capital steps up preparations for next year's Olympics.

The Paris Metro and RER closures in August you need to know
Expect plenty of travel disruption in Paris this summer. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

Line closures and maintenance delays are routine in Paris in the summer, when passenger numbers are down because many people are away on holiday. But the amount of work is higher than normal this year, with improvements planned on almost every major line in and out of the capital.

Nine metro lines, as well as three tramways, will be affected throughout the summer, with the schedules for certain major routes like the RER commuter train system set to also be disrupted.

Here’s what we know about line closures in the coming weeks in AUgust:

Metro

Line 4 

No service between August 12th and 17th from Porte-de-Clignancourt to Barbès-Rochechouart. 

Line 5

No service until August 11th between the stations Gare-du-Nord and République.

Line 9

The entirety of Line 9 will be closed on September 3rd.

Line 11 

Closed on the following Sunday, August 27th, for work on the extension to Rosny-sous-Bois. The line will also close at 10pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until the end of September. 

Line 12

Closed from August 2nd to 8th between the stations Front-Populaire and Jules-Joffrin.

Line 13

The Porte-de-Saint-Ouen station will be closed from until August 18th. 

Line 14

Until August 11th, no services will run on the entirety of the line.

Tramways

Line T2

From August 12th to 27th, the tram will not run between Pont-de-Bezons and La Défense.

From August 12th to 18th, traffic will also be halted between Porte-de-Versailles and Issy-Val-de-Seine.

Line T3A

Until August 11th, traffic will be halted between Porte-d’Italie and Porte de Vincennes.

RER A

Europe’s busiest railway line will be closed from Nation and Val-de-Fontenay and Fontenay-sous-Bois stations from August 9th to 18th; and between Cergy-le-Haut and Conflans-Fin-d’Oise stations from August 5th to 20th.

RER B North

The line will be closed between Gare-du-Nord and Mitry-Claye on August 12th, 13th and 14th. 

On September 23rd and 24th, the section between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Mitry-Claye will not be served.

Replacement buses will be in operation, but users are warned to expect delays.

RER B South

The station Bagneux will remain closed until August 27th.

Between Fontaine-Michalon and Massy-Palaiseau, from August 5th to August 20th, traffic will be halted to carry out modernisation work on the Chartres and Gallardon bridges. 

All trains will terminate at Fontaine-Michalon and Massy-Palaiseau. A replacement bus will serve Massy-Palaiseau, Massy-Verrières, Les Baconnets and Fontaine-Michalon stations.

Until August 4th, traffic will be interrupted to allow completion of the Massy-Valenton-Ouest project between La Croix de Berny and Massy-Palaiseau, and to continue work on the Chartres and Gallardon bridges. 

All trains will terminate at La Croix-de-Berny and Massy-Palaiseau. A shuttle bus will serve the remaining stations.

The branch between Bourg-la-Reine and Robinson will be closed until August 26th. All trains will terminate at Bourg-la-Reine. Substitutions will be made at Bourg-la-Reine, Sceaux, Fontenay-aux-Roses and Robinson stations.

RER C

The Austerlitz – Javel – Henri-Martin section will be closed until August 26th.

No trains will run between Massy and Pont-de-Rungis, either, during the replacement of the Gallardon rail bridge in Massy, and for the Massy southern rail bypass project.

RER D

Disruption can be expected on weekends, until August 26th, in particular on morning / early afternoon trains going into Paris (until 2:55pm); and for the other direction (leaving Paris) after 3pm.

RER E

The Challes-Gournay station and Vaires-Torcy stations will experience several disruptions.

From August 5th to 6th, the Challes-Gournay will closure (in both directions), and neither will the Vaires-Torcy station (for those going towards Paris).

The same will go for August 11th to 12th, as well as August 19th to 20th, and finally August 26th to 27th.

Transilien

Line H

From August 5th to 6th traffic will not run between Ermont-Eaubonne and Valmondois; as well as Pontoise and Persan-Beaumont.

Line J

There will be several disruptions on this line. Until August 13th, traffic will be interrupted between  Épône-Mézières and Mantes-la-Jolie. 

From August 5th to 6th, August 19th to 20th, and 26th to 27th, trains will not run between Les-Mureaux and Mantes-la-Jolie.

From August 12th to 13th, August 19th to 20th, and August 26th to 27th, traffic will not run between Paris Saint-Lazare and Saint Cloud – Garches – Marnes-la-Coquette.

Line L

From August 5th to 20th, traffic will not run between Maisons-Laffitte and Cergy-le-Haut.

Line P

Until August 13th, traffic will be halted between Plaisir-Grignon and Mantes-la-Jolie.

Until August 27th, traffic will be halted between Meaux and La-Ferté-Milon.

And until August 27th, the Nangis station will be closed.

Line U

Traffic between La Défense and Suresnes will be halted three times – from August 12th to 13th; August 19th to 20th; and finally August 26th to 27th.

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TRAVEL NEWS

How punctual are trains in France compared to other countries?

We all know that France has a pretty impressive network of high-speed trains. But it's all very well being able to go at over 200km/h if your train is then stuck in the station - so how punctual are French trains?

How punctual are trains in France compared to other countries?

Figures from France’s Autorité de la Qualité de Service dans les Transports (AQST) paint a mixed picture of France’s rail services.

Its most recent Europe-wide study of train punctuality, published in 2021, looks at how many trains arrived within five minutes of their scheduled arrival times – and therefore includes both trains that were delayed and trains that were cancelled.

In the period covered by the study, France has seen regular rail strikes that have led to cancellations on the railways.

They survey found that 89.4 percent of all French trains arrived within five minutes of schedule in 2014. That figure had dropped to 87 percent by 2018 and rose again to 91 percent in 2019 – after peaking at 92 percent in 2020 (although the study’s authors caution that 2020 figures  figures should be taken with caution because of the pandemic). 

The punctuality rate in neighbouring Germany was 94.4 percent in 2014, 94.1 percent in 2018, 94.5 percent in 2019 and 96 percent in 2020. 

Overall, France is below average according to the study. In 2019, it was ranked eleventh out of 16 countries. Switzerland tops the podium with 97 percent of trains arriving on time in 2019, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, and Austria. 

At the foot of the table, the countries where the risk of not arriving on time is greatest are Great Britain, Italy and Portugal.

Up to 2019, France’s TGVs and Intercités were well behind Spain and Netherlands, countries that run their high-speed services on dedicated lines rather than sharing them with less rapid services, for punctuality.

In 2019, however, Netherlands’ inter-city services ran within five minutes of schedules 96.2 percent of the time, compared to France’s 75.7 percent. Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Norway and Poland were all above France in the rankings.

Comparisons for long-distance rail services with Germany are harder to calculate because it does not distinguish between its high-speed services and other long-distance rail services. 

But, consolidating long-distance services shows that France offered more punctual services than Germany until 2019. By Covid-hit 2020, however, German long-distance services ran better than French ones.

As for regional services, the Netherlands topped the rankings there, too, with 97.6 percent of services on time to with five minutes. France (91.9 percent, including RER and Transilien services) was seventh, behind Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Germany and Ireland.

And, at a city level, Copenhagen, Madrid, Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, Warsaw, and Dublin’s urban services were more efficient – and more punctual – than Paris and Ile-de-France’s regional rail services.

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