Passengers stranded overnight on a train headed to Paris

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stranded passengers train
STRANDED: Five-hour journey takes all night. CREDIT: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds stranded on a train as a power failure disrupts passengers journey from Spain to France which left them without food.

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IN a journey that was supposed to take five hours, a passenger train left Hendaye on the Spanish border on Sunday and headed to its destination in Paris.

However, it did not complete the trip for a whole day as it was halted in the south-west Landes region due to a “succession of electrical problems on the line,” a representative from operator, SNCF, confirmed.

Despite a huge spike in Covid-19 cases in France, the train set out on its proposed five-hour long trip with nearly 1,000 passengers.


The weary travellers were told that there was no more food left on Sunday evening, around the time they would have been due to arrive at their intended destination.

After many of them had to spend the night on the train, they were finally transferred to another train to take them on towards Bordeaux just before dawn.


Food services were able to resume but unfortunately for many hungry customers, that didn’t happen until just before the train change on Monday morning, although bottles of water were offered.

Medics were even called for by train managers, hoping that someone onboard would be able to help with one passenger who had fainted.

The exhausted passengers eventually pulled into Paris at around midday on Monday.

Passengers on two other trains heading out of Hendaye on Sunday bound for Paris were also affected, SNCF confirmed.

Passengers on those services returned to Hendaye where they spent the night before eventually being driven by bus to Bordeaux to connect to Paris.

“This is an exceptional event which created a chain of incidents which resulted … in the interruption of traffic”, said, Jean-Luc Gary, SNCF network director in south-west France. “Events repeated themselves and are undoubtedly linked to the same cause. What we do not know at this time is what caused what.”

SNCF promised to refund triple the cost of the original ticket, and pledged a full investigation into the cause of the problem.

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