More than 27 percent of SNCF employees went on strike on Monday, including almost three quarters of all train drivers.
Officials warned that "major violence" could hit Paris as "yellow vest" protesters plan to gather again this weekend. Teens have also blocked hundreds of schools, while several unions called for solidarity strikes.
Germany's Bosch engineering company is part of the consortia developing driverless freight and passenger trains over the next five years. The project is part of the modernizing drive for the French state railway.
France's Senate has voted in favor of Emmanuel Macron's reform plans for state rail operator SNCF. The reforms, which sparked months of strikes, are a key victory for Macron in his battle with France's unions.
Train travel in France has been disrupted for a third time this month as SNCF workers protest against a planned overhaul. The strikes pose the biggest challenge so far to President Emmanuel Macron's reform plans.
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