Significant Train Delay of 6 to 10 Hours on Paris to Tarbes Route Due to Electrical Issue in the Landes Region

The day was long and filled with waiting for passengers traveling on a Paris-Tarbes train on Friday, October 20. The train left Montparnasse station around 6:30 am, was supposed to pass through Pau just before 11 am, and arrive in Tarbes before midday. However, at around 9:45 am, a catenary was damaged by a freight train. An electrical problem paralyzed the train in the Landes region, near the town of Solferino. Some passengers carpooled while others were taken by TER to Bordeaux and then transported to their original destinations.

There was a lot of solidarity among the 400 passengers aboard the train. Joanie and Manon, two student friends from Bordeaux heading back to Pau to see their parents, experienced the breakdown in the Landes. Joanie said, “There was no electricity on the train. It was either take the train back to Bordeaux or have someone come pick us up. My dad is coming to get us. It’s really a hassle because it’s raining and we’re losing a whole day!”

And it wasn’t just Joanie and Manon who faced difficulties. Maïté said, “The SNCF staff was very kind, and everything we bought from a certain point was free. There were free chocolate bars, water, cold quiches, and croque-monsieurs. And what was funny on this train was that there were people going to Lourdes who were singing the Angelus! The atmosphere was very joyful.”

Jean-François, who decided to carpool instead of heading back to Bordeaux, shared his experience. “No electricity, so no more coffee, tea, or toilets,” he said. Jean-François was supposed to go to Tarbes. “There was a great sense of solidarity and conviviality among us, to the extent that we created a WhatsApp group called ‘The Shipwrecked of Wagon 1,’ so thank you SNCF,” he smiled.

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