Several hundred Paris-Toulouse users criticize a “degraded” line

After the Paris-Clermont, it is the POLT line which is highlighted, to the great dismay of the SNCF. Several hundred users of the Paris-Orléans-Limoges-Toulouse (POLT) railway line, criticized for its “degraded” service, demonstrated this Saturday in Limoges and other cities, demanding an improvement in service in the face of a economic “disaster” for the territories concerned.

The POLT line is being modernized with the renovation of the rails and catenaries, a facelift to the stations and the deployment of new trains. Everything must be finished by the end of 2026, for a total investment of nearly 2.5 billion euros. But these construction sites further disrupt the circulation of trains already hampered by various damages, encounters with wild boars, heat waves or frost.

A “major deterioration of traffic conditions”

At the call of the Urgence POLT association, created in 2010, around 300 users, entrepreneurs and elected officials gathered at Limoges station to send a “very strong alarm signal” due to a “major deterioration of traffic conditions,” according to Jean-Claude Sandrier, president of this collective. According to him, since the end of November, 130 trains have been canceled, in particular due to locomotive breakdowns due to lack of maintenance, branches falling on the track or the presence of wild boars. On Saturday, a train to Paris-Austerlitz was 1 hour 40 minutes late.

“The SNCF has started night work until the end of March to regenerate the line, but it will lead to the cancellation of two trains in the morning and two trains in the evening, accentuating the problem,” notes Jean-Claude Sandrier. “We must organize and defend our territory,” argues Émile Roger Lombertie, mayor of Limoges and vice-president of Urgence POLT. “Stop the degradation of public service. We are asking for a general reduction in prices during the work period,” added the elected official, who is calling for 14 round trips instead of 11 in the future.

A “disaster” in terms of attractiveness

For the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Haute-Vienne, these repeated disruptions are synonymous with “disaster” in terms of attractiveness. “Canceled or late trains are a disaster for our territory which needs dynamism and to attract new companies,” underlines Pierre Massy, ​​president of the CCI Limoges Haute-Vienne, pointing the finger at the SNCF: “Paying to arrive hours late is not worthy of an honest business. »

In 2022, Legrand, a CAC 40 group based in Limoges, had threatened to move if the connection with Paris – in three hours 15 minutes, at best – did not improve.

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