Around a hundred people had to sleep on TGV trains at Lille-Flandres station during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. They lost their connection due to snow and ice.
Disruptions on SNCF lines are combined with weather and a real obstacle for users. On Wednesday evening, around 10 pm, the situation started to deteriorate. After that, the station was filled with commuters who were still on their way to reach their final destination. For more than an hour, they waited at the station until the SNCF announced.
“We bring you food and drink. We will provide a hot train to keep you in good shape,” users are informed. Mattresses, blankets, earmuffs and sleep masks were distributed, so there was no doubt that the night was going to be spent on the train.
If a train is delayed or canceled by more than an hour, European law requires the railway company to provide reasonable accommodation, food and refreshments. The agents explained that there were no hotels and no taxis.
According to reports from Ouest France, passengers greeted the decision with a certain indignation. “Obviously, that's not right. We could have been more. Making us stay like that for hours doesn't respect customers,” says an agent. “I don't want to sleep on the train: we're not cattle, we can find hotels! Then, there are conflicting opinions: we were told there were no taxis, and I saw people taking taxis! The same for hotels… and they never talked to us about refunds,” said another. The traveler concludes.
So passengers spent the night on the train before leaving for their destinations on Thursday morning with a €4.50 voucher to buy breakfast.
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