Passengers on the TGV Nantes-Paris did not expect such a journey. Departing Sunday at 2:52 p.m., the train was to arrive approximately two hours and thirty minutes later at Montparnasse station. Its 750 occupants could not have set foot on the Parisian pavement until the next day, at 5.30 a.m. Or a 15 hour trip ... Why such a delay?
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The passengers immediately had bad luck. Due to storm Dennis, which had slowed down previous trains, their TGV had to leave 50 minutes behind schedule. But it was then that the real trouble began. Around 4 p.m. at La Loupe, shortly before Chartres, a tree fell on a catenary, causing an absence of tension and forcing the train to stop in full track.
In this TGV without electricity, passengers must have patience and not give in to panic: no network for some, impossible to recharge the battery of laptops ... A delicate situation especially for young passengers and pregnant women , without water and food. According to various testimonies, the occupants nevertheless managed to keep calm.
In the long run, some passengers get frustrated with the intervention time of the SNCF teams: at 11 p.m., the train is still blocked. "The situation was extremely complicated due to the lack of electrical power and the interruption on the two tracks (collapsed trees and catenary poles) ", justifies the SNCF.
The tree in question collapsed on the catenary, depriving the TGV of electricity. SNCF
It was not until around one in the morning that a solution was announced. A diesel locomotive tows the TGV to Chartres, where passengers board another train that takes them to Le Mans. There, "a TGV with bottles of water, lunch boxes and a reinforced presence of agents" awaits them. It is 4 a.m. An hour and thirty minutes later, they finally arrive at Montparnasse station. SNCF has promised to reimburse passengers up to 200% of the ticket price.
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