France: Delays & disruptions

Engineering works are happening in France. Major disruptions are listed below, You can check the status of a train using SNCF's departure board.


Current disruption

Widespread engineering and maintenance works are currently happening in France. The most important incidents are listed below, but please visit SNCF's Traffic info page for a list of all the ongoing disruptions.

1. Nantes to Bordeaux train service interrupted

January 2020 until at least 28 May 2021

Since the beginning of the year the 103 km La Roche-sur-Yon to La Rochelle section of the main Nantes - Bordeaux railway has been closed for rebuilding. The closure has left two of France's largest cities without a direct rail link. It had been hoped that services would be restored in late May 2021, but there are reports that the engineering work may run on into summer 2021. 
Thrice daily replacement buses are running from Nantes to Bordeaux with a stop at La Rochelle along the way. The bus journey takes upwards of five hours. Note that these replacement buses are incorrectly shown as trains on some journey planners. Alternative routes by rail are available from Nantes to Bordeaux via St Pierre des Corps. 

2. Buses replacing trains on all services St Gervais to Chamonix

1 September to 20 November 2020 -  NB. This disruption has now ended. Normal train services between St Gervais and Chamonix were restored over the weekend of 21/22 November. The section of the line east of Vallorcine reopened on Monday 23 November. Normal timetables now apply again on the entire Mont Blanc Express route from St Gervais - Chamonix - Vallorcine - Martigny. 

The popular Mont Blanc Express rail service from St Gervais-les-Bains to Chamonix is suspended for 11 weeks for work on the rail infrastructure. Replacement bus services are running, but do note that journey times are extended. Buses are also replacing trains east of Vallorcine.  

3. Marseille to Briançon regional rail service 

1 September to 12 December 2020

Because of track work on the important regional rail route Marseille - Aix - Gap - Briançon, buses are replacing trains between Gardanne et Meyrargues. Travel times are extended by up to 45 minutes. 

4. Special arrangements for train services between Nice and Tende via Sospel and Breil-sur-Roya

3 October 2020 until further notice.

With major damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the hills around Breil-sur-Roya and Tende (on the French-Italian border), the regional rail route from Nice to Tende is now operating to a special timetable as the railway provides a lifeline service to a remote mountain region. Passengers are advised to avoid all but essential travel. Passengers may however travel for free on trains on this route. Rail Europe has therefore suspended ticket sales for journeys from Nice to Tende and vice versa. However, intending passengers are required to book a zero-cost reservation ticket prior to travel. This free ticket can be obtained on the regional rail website for the region

5. France-Italy Thello services amended and cancelled

August 2020 and until further notice

Thrice daily Thello Eurocity services from Nice and Menton via Sanremo and Genoa to Milan are still running, but will be permanently withdrawn from 13 December 2020. Passengers wanting to travel from Nice to Genoa and Milan from 13 December will need to change trains at Ventimiglia. The overall journey times will be broadly similar to those on the existing Thello Eurocity trains which run right through without any need to change trains. 

The once-daily Eurocity train from Marseille to Milan is permanently cancelled and has not run since late March 2020.The Thello night trains from Paris and Dijon to all destinations in Italy (including Milan, Verona, Padua and Venice) are cancelled and have not run since late March 2020. Some media reports in mid-November 2020 suggested that this overnight route may be reinstated in 2021. Should that be the case, it will again be available for sale on Rail Europe. 

6. Night trains From France to other countries

August 2020 and until further notice. See also the note above on the cancellation of the Thello overnight services from France to Italy. 

The popular direct night train from Hendaye (in SW France) to Portugal is cancelled under further notice. The direct overnight train from Paris to Berlin and Warsaw is cancelled until further notice. The same applies to the weekly direct service from Nice and Menton to Innsbruck, Vienna and Warsaw.

7. TGV Lyria services 

14 September to 12 December 2020

Engineering work, mainly at weekends, is affecting the high-speed Lyria rail service between France and Switzerland for a period of 13 weeks. Expect major disruption on the last weekend in September and all October weekends on services from Paris to Bâle / Basel, Zürich and Lausanne. From 1 to 22 November services from France to Bâle / Basel and Zürich are also affected on weekdays. Expect delays, diversions and cancellations. Lyria trains from France to Geneva and generally not affected other than on these four specific dates when minor disruptions will occur: 14, 15, 21 and 22 November.

What to do if you experience a delay

Please speak to staff on the train or at the station if you are delayed. They will have the most up to date information and can tell you what to do. Also, ask the staff to stamp your ticket with proof of delay. This will make it easier for you to travel on later trains.

Keep all of your tickets until you return home. They can be used to submit a claim to the rail operator if you incur any unavoidable additional costs (new tickets, taxis).

For more information, please see our Help article: What happens if I miss my connection. If you need to submit a claim, see: Submitting a claim to SNCF.

If you have tickets for onward travel on trains which are scheduled to run as normal, refunds and exchanges are only permitted as per fare conditions.

Please note that this information is provided by the rail operator and cannot be guaranteed by Rail Europe UK.