Tourists, commuters seek workarounds to French train strikes


PARIS (AP) — French commuters are squeezing into scarce trains and tourists are rearranging their plans, as Day 2 of a three-month strike hobbles one of the world’s most-traveled rail networks.

Rail unions and President Emmanuel Macron’s government are holding firm so far in a battle over a plan to abolish a benefits system that allows train drivers and others jobs for life.

The SNCF rail authority said some 86 percent of trains were canceled nationwide Wednesday.

Empty platforms are pictured at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, France, on the second day of a series of strikes that are set to last three months, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. A major French railway strike has brought the country's famed high-speed trains to a halt, leaving passengers stranded and posing the biggest test so far for President Emmanuel Macron's economic strategy. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Empty platforms are pictured at Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, France, on the second day of a series of strikes that are set to last three months, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. A major French railway strike has brought the country’s famed high-speed trains to a halt, leaving passengers stranded and posing the biggest test so far for President Emmanuel Macron’s economic strategy. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The strike is also hitting international traffic. SNCF says no trains are operating between France and Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

At the Gare Saint-Lazare in northern Paris, passengers squeezed painfully in and out of trains or waited on overflowing platforms.

Commuters arrive at Saint-Lazare train station in Paris, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 in the first of a series of strikes that are set to last three months. A major French railway strike has brought the country's famed high-speed trains to a halt, leaving passengers stranded and posing the biggest test so far for President Emmanuel Macron's economic strategy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Commuters arrive at Saint-Lazare train station in Paris, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 in the first of a series of strikes that are set to last three months. A major French railway strike has brought the country’s famed high-speed trains to a halt, leaving passengers stranded and posing the biggest test so far for President Emmanuel Macron’s economic strategy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Macron says the train worker overhaul is necessary to make France more globally competitive.

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