the fatigue of users of the Limoges-Paris train at 5:26 am

In the hall of the Limoges-Bénédictins (Haute-Vienne) station, this Tuesday, January 3, 2023, they join the sunrise. Eyes glued to the bulletin board, watching the train platform number 5:26. I hope it won’t be delayed. Direction of Paris. These Limousins ​​live in the green but work in the capital. A balance of life threatened by the failures that have become too regular on this Paris-Orléans-Limoges-Toulouse line, better known as “Polt”.

“Thanks for developing telework! »

The latest: the removal of a schedule that required users to opt for the 5:26 am or 8:58 am train to reach Austerlitz station directly. Which, in the end, leaves Sylvie Terron little choice. “There’s no point in taking the second one before arriving at noon in Paris… So I set the alarm clock earlier”, confides the Haut-Viennoise, which has already faced twenty minutes by car. But this mother of two thinks so; It’s a lifestyle. “I want to have one foot in the countryside and another in Paris to maintain my good situation. It’s just a matter of habit. When the train is on time or not canceled, everything will be fine. »

Like him, some users of Limoges-Paris are neo-rurals who settled in Limousin after many imprisonments. Since the end of 2021, Guillaume Picarougne has been juggling between his Haute-Viennese house and his Parisian start-up project. He goes to Quai Limougeaud twice a week. “Thanks for developing telework! », slips the young thirty-something early in the morning. As evidenced by his small eyes and his voice not quite recovered from a short night. “Still a bit sore after the holidays… But the train journey was not wasted. We take out the computer and work. Or we’ll go to sleep…”

“It’s like I cut my night in two”

Many people end their night in these Intercités. With nearly four hours of engagement, it’s hard not to take advantage of it. Helmet screwed on the ears and scarf on the face, Dorian has his little ritual. The blue and gray seats of the second-class carriages became his second bed. “It’s like I split my night into two. The controller at Austerlitz has woken me up”, confides the young Limousin employee of a large luxury brand in Paris. For him, getting up very early has become a necessity. “I had a choice between living in the suburbs of Paris in a 20 m2 or in a 70 m2 in Limoges near my family for the same price… Because I know my company is returning me a good part of my SNCF card, I quickly made my decision. »

“Some are only for big cities”

From La Souterraine to Vierzon, via Argenton-sur-Creuse and Châteauroux, the Limoges-Paris line crosses a beautiful part of this province that has long been the desert of Parisian executives, excluding weekends and holidays in second home.

But if teleworking has become more democratic, the rail network seems to be lagging behind. Even if it means sometimes suppressing the desire to be green. Outraged, another 200 people mobilized on December 12 at Limoges station to protest against the line’s destruction. Celine Gaverat was there. He is now used to the 5:26 am train to reach the La Défense district every day. But until when? “I’m getting old and this life is really tiring. Four hours on the train and getting up at 4 am… This is not normal. And then we will cry because we cannot go to our countryside. Only for big cities. You might as well live in Bordeaux if that’s the way to go. »

More than annoyance, fatigue prevailed. And the very early ringing of the alarm clock is not the reason. Some decided to drop the case. If Théo Magne was sitting by the window on Tuesday, his luggage would have provided more of a direct one-way ticket than a trip home to work. He is coming back from a family vacation. “Before, I used to take the train every day but I couldn’t bear it anymore. Too many galleys. Even by trying to get up very early, we are also not sure if we will arrive at work on time due to delays. So I took a little residence in Paris. » And when the salesman learns that the 6 am train is coming back soon, his answer is straightforward: “Got half an hour’s sleep only to lose it in a delay? Thank you. »

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