Trains between Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport suspended

Air travellers getting to and from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport faced travel chaos on Tuesday after an accident on the rail link to the city centre put the line out of action for the whole day.

Trains between Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport suspended
Photo: AFP

No RER B trains were running between the centre of Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday after a train brought down overhead power cables.

The damage stretched over a full kilometre (0.6 miles), cutting traffic between Paris and the airport, which lies to the north of the capital, said the spokesman for SNCF.

Services were suspended shortly before 9am on Tuesday morning and will not operate again until 6pm at the earliest.

That means there are no RER B trains between Gare du Nord and Charles de Gaulle airport, so air passengers will have to find an alternative way to get to CDG. Trains to Orly Airport, also served by RER B were not affected.

Images posted on Twitter showed passengers having to descend from the trains and walk along the tracks.

Many passengers complained they were left in the dark about how to get to their destination once services were halted.

Things will only slightly improve after 6pm because transport authorities say RER B traffic will remain suspended between Aulnay-sous-Bois, just north of Paris, and Charles de Gaulle until Wednesday morning.

The suspension of services was caused by a power problem in the overhead cables on the line which is notorious among Parisian commuters for delays and cancellations.

The breakdown comes on a day when authorities in Paris have made public transport free in a bid to battle a spike in air pollution.

Half of drivers have been ordered to leave their cars at home, meaning public transport is more in demand than normal.

RER B carries around 900,000 passengers each day but they have been told to seek alternative transport.

Airport passengers can take buses to Charles de Gaulle airport from Gare du Nord or the alternative is to take a taxi, which should cost between €50 or €55 euros.

The government is currently looking at building an express link between Paris and CDG, which would cut the travel time to 20 minutes.

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