Sunday, November 28

Transport. SNCF: abandoned luggage responsible for 8,330 hours late in 2021

Who has never heard this unpleasant announcement at the station, which justifies the delay of a train by a suspicious package or an abandoned suitcase? Over the year 2021, forgotten luggage has become the main cause of delays within the SNCF, on the TGV and the Intercités. According to figures revealed by the magazine City, Rail and Transport, they caused more than 8,330 hours of cumulative delay, impacting 9,000 trains and nearly eight million passengers.

“We expected to reach this figure at the end of the year. We have already exceeded it,” says Alain Krakovitch, director of Voyages SNCF, in City, Rail and Transport. The number of procedures for abandoned baggage has tripled since 2018. We have 30 to 40 major incidents per week, some of which can cause up to 15,000 minutes of delay ”.

Some experts in the railway sector explain this trend by… wearing a mask, which obstructs the view, or the health pass, which puts luggage on the ground during the control.

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An interminable protocol

But the protocol to follow in the event of abandoned luggage is surely the most problematic. As a first step, the SNCF must establish a security perimeter – or even evacuate the entire station – before making announcements to invite its owner to come forward. Without a response, she must call in a dog squad, then a demining team if the dog spots anything.

Faced with the discontent of travelers and frequent reimbursements when the delay is too long, the SNCF has decided to take the bull by the horns. It multiplies the announcements encouraging vigilance, in stations as in trains, and frequently recalls the risks: a fine of 150 euros (200 euros if it is not paid immediately), or even the destruction of the luggage by the deminers. .

But that’s not all: the SNCF has appointed an “Abandoned Baggage Mister”. This is Pierre Boutier, reveals the magazine City, Rail and Transport, “used to difficult assignments”, who was performance director for the rail system of the Normandy lines at SNCF Réseau. He will have the heavy burden of stemming the scourge.

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