Thalys passengers again stranded for hours with more delays expected Saturday
Thalys train traffic was severely disrupted on several routes on Friday after a train collided with an animal near Tournai in Belgium in the afternoon. The train company also expects delays on Saturday due to the collision.
The collision has caused a technical problem "for which the train had to be brought to a stop and the electricity had to be cut off," a Thalys spokesperson told the French news agency AFP. Many passengers were trapped in trains or had to wait at stations, according to AFP. Among them were Dutch people who were stranded and had to spend the night in Paris.
Travelers were advised to continue their journey on Saturday. "However, this is not possible via Thalys because the trains for Saturday are fully booked," a service employee of the train company reported via the Twitter account.
The train company will reimburse stranded travelers for their hotel stays, according to the Belgian press agency Belga. There are also trains available to spend the night in, for people who cannot find shelter.
Images on social media shared on Friday evening showed enormous crowds in the station hall of Gare du Nord in Paris. A passenger said on Twitter that he left Paris for Amsterdam at 4:25 p.m. but that passengers did not move for more than four hours.
Earlier this month, Thalys also had problems due to two separate train failures. On July 19, over 600 passengers were stranded for several hours in a train without air conditioning as temperatures hit 45 degrees. Less than a week later, 200 more travelers were stuck in another broken down train, three of whom became unwell.
On Saturday, travelers who wanted more information about their journey found an error message on the Thalys site. Complaints from travelers flooded Twitter.
"There we are again, all up before dawn. No information and the first train should have already left," one of them tweeted. A Thalys spokesperson was not available for comment on Saturday morning.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times