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France

Railway havoc leaves holidaymakers stranded in Paris

© Geoffroy Van der Hasselt, AFP | Montparnasse, in south-west Paris, is one of the French capital's busiest transport hubs.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-07-31

Traffic continued to be disrupted at one of Paris's main railway stations on Sunday, a day after holidaymakers found all trains heading for Brittany and the south-west had been cancelled.

France’s SNCF rail company announced that there would be a gradual return to normal service later in the day, but warned travellers that they should consider “postponing” their journey to later in the week.

Some trains heading for the south-western city of Bordeaux were rerouted to Austerlitz station, in southeast Paris, while others were simply cancelled.

The travel chaos, caused by an electrical failure, comes at a critical time as trains are typically packed with holidaymakers seeking to avoid the infamous August traffic jams that clog France’s motorways.

Huge crowds of frustrated travellers were left without information for hours on Sunday as information screens went blank at the capital’s integral Montparnasse train station (the departure point for the high-speed TGV trains to the west and south west).

Travellers are advised to check the SNCF website regularly to find out whether their train is leaving, and where from.

Reportedly, SNCF sent text messages and emails to customers to inform of the disruption, but that did not stop huge crowds arriving at the stations expecting their trains.

However, travellers have informed FRANCE 24 that their train was cancelled and they did not receive an SMS or email. Joanne Henrion told FRANCE 24, “My husband, myself and our dog had TGV reservations for Sunday night. I did check the SNCF site and there was no problem. At Gare Vendome Villiers [a town south-west of Paris], the train was cancelled. The SNCF clerk gave us two tickets for any train for today. Then the 8:41 train was half an hour late.” Henrion went on to say that SNCF did not send her a text or email to inform her of the problems.

Has you Paris train be cancelled or delayed? Contact us through the tweet below or on our Facebook page.

 

Date created : 2017-07-31

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