Accessibility links

Breaking News

Thousands of Passengers Stranded Overnight on Trains in France

FILE - A TGV high-speed train operated by state-owned railway company SNCF speeds through the railway station in Bordeaux, France, Oct. 28, 2019.

Rail officials say thousands of passengers were trapped overnight on high-speed TGV trains that were halted by electrical problems in southwestern France.

SNCF, the national rail authority, apologized Monday for what it called “a series of electrical supply incidents” that started Sunday afternoon and disrupted service to Paris.

SNCF officials said a train from Hendaye, a popular tourist destination on the border with Spain, was carrying about 1,000 vacationers back to Paris when electrical issues halted it in the remote Landes region. Officials say those passengers were transferred to another train bound for Bordeaux in the middle of the night.

Four high-speed trains connecting Bordeaux with other cities in the region were also stuck on tracks into the night, resulting in delays on other routes.

Frustrated travelers posted images on social media of children sleeping on floors, and described the challenges of wearing face masks for as long as 20 straight hours. French media reported that several people were evacuated for medical reasons.

SNCF Strategic Crisis Director Jérôme Attou told reporters in Bordeaux that authorities were still inspecting the tracks and the catenaries — power lines that deliver electricity to the trains — and getting the network back in working order. Attou said he expected trains to be running normally by Tuesday.

France’s junior minister for transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, said all passengers will be reimbursed three times the cost of their tickets.