France’s SNCF apologies after electrical failure traps thousands on trains

1 September 2020 (Last Updated September 1st, 2020 11:57)

France's state-owned railway company SNCF has issued an apology after a major electrical failure trapped thousands of passengers overnight on high-speed TGV trains.

France’s SNCF apologies after electrical failure traps thousands on trains
A TGV Duplex in Héricourt, Haute-Saône on the LGV Rhin-Rhône. Credit: Kabelleger / David Gubler via Wikipedia.

France’s state-owned railway company SNCF has issued an apology after a major electrical failure trapped thousands of passengers overnight on high-speed TGV trains.

According to news reports, a high-speed train travelling from Hendaye near the Spanish border to Bordeaux stalled in the remote Landes region following a series of electrical glitches.

Subsequently, the authorities evacuated the stranded passengers onto another Bordeaux-bound service in the middle of the night.

Following the incident, several other trains on the route were also stuck on tracks, resulting in delays on other routes.

The passengers expressed frustrations on the social media posting photos of children sleeping on floors while others complained about the unavailability of food and water.

Local media reported that several people were evacuated for medical reasons.

SNCF Strategic Crisis Director Jérôme Attou was quoted by VOA News as saying that the authorities started an inspection of the tracks and catenaries, which deliver power to the trains, following the incident.

An internal investigation will also be carried out to determine the cause of electricity failure.

The services are expected to return to normal today.

SNCF has also committed to reimburse all affected passengers three times the cost of their tickets.

The railway company estimated that 5,000 travellers were affected due to delays or train cancellations.

SNCF operates passenger and freight railway services, as well as maintains rail infrastructure.

Earlier this year, the company ordered 19 Regio 2N double-deck vehicles with Bombardier Transport.