5 hours to go back to Normandy.
Our PT, and especially the St Lazare station is known for being on strike quite often. Traffic lines are old, trains often late for several reasons (suicides, accident, technical problems, etc.), the trips always a pain in the arse, not to mention the controllers being often assaulted / cursed by passengers because of their repetitive strikes. For example, last week, they decided to block the whole station out of blue, blocking everyone in and out of the station from going into Paris or leaving. Riot ensued.
Today I was waiting for my train to head back home. Everything was going smooth, other passengers taking their seat or getting a controller to check their tickets and lead them in the car they had booked. The train was due to go in 10mn.
30mn later we’re still here, people are still dashing in the cars, relieved to catch the train. No announcement has been done, so I quickly check their mobile website to know what’s going on.
“A ‘person accident’ occurred on the lines to Normandy. All the traffic has been stopped till further notice.”
Good to know and still no announcement. I realize the station staff left all the platforms, some users are having a smoke outside and we still have no official info.
Some passengers are beginning to be pissed while some others are still coming in, invading the few places left and even making some others move so they could “take the seats they have booked” (while they were pretty late already but whatever…) An old lady has to stand in the path between the rows because she has no reservation.
After a while, we finally hear from the speakers above the train : the traffic to Normandy will be suspended until further notice. Some people have been spotted on the rails, therefore all the trains are stopped.
Quick look on my mobile news: a guy committed suicide by train two hours ago, and some passengers decided to go out of their cars to “watch”. Hanging around the trains tracks, they blocked all the traffic because the station officers had to check afterwards no one was still on the way. Question: wtf people ? All of them, depressed people and leeches attracted by the smell of blood, the fuck is wrong with you ?
1h, we’re still here, no officer around. Because on the platforms, things are going wrong. Some users are more and more pissed, because of all the recent strikes they had to endure. A small riot began on the other side of where I am, some people assaulting the officers who had to lock themselves in one of their office to call the police. I thought of going there to take some photos but quickly realize I am just a girl and charisma wouldn’t protect me from aggressive people.
After 2 hours, they finally make another announcement, the traffic should slowly come back to normal.
Some are dashing back to the already packed cars. Since I have no reservation I have no other option than climbing one of the storages we use to hang the suitcases and “sit” there..
The train travelled for 3hours to normandy (usually it only takes two), at least to my hometown and while I have the chance to sit and have a few space, the old lady is still sitting down between the rows of seats, pressed against several other users.
She was probably going to Cherbourg, so she probably spent 5 hours like that. And this, all of this, can happen once or twice a week, according to a woman who’s taking that train every day to Caen from Paris. Nothing new, they’re all used to this.
PS: I’m pissed and tired and my english often fails me.