Passengers on a train travelling from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand who were planning to get off at Nevers were left disappointed on Wednesday afternoon when the train driver who was visibly drunk simply forgot to make the stop.
The SNCF intercité train left the Paris-Bercy station at 4pm and was scheduled to stop at the city of Nevers in central France, then Moulins, Vichy and Riom, before reaching its final destination of Clermont-Ferrand. But instead he continued on to the following station of Saincaize, 14 kilometres to the south of Nevers.
"As soon as the stop was missed, an SNCF executive informed the fire station and police. The driver was taken to a hospital in Nevers where a blood test was carried out which indicated that there was alcohol in his system," SNCF said on Thursday.
The driver, who had 3.34 grams of alcohol per litre of blood in his system, according to Le Journal du Centre, was then taken into custody.
The no doubt disgruntled passengers who numbered around 200 onboard then had to switch onto the next train coming from Paris, leaving them to reach their destination an hour later than planned.
The 41 people who had missed their stop at Nevers changed to another intercité train at Saincaize.
"This is an extremely rare situation, serious and intolerable. The president of SNCF has immediately appointed the management team responsible for auditing security to conduct an internal inquiry," SNCF said.
"An internal disciplinary procedure has been initiated. This could lead to the driver being fired," the national train company added, noting that it practises "zero tolerance and uses significant measures of prevention and control" when it comes to alcohol and drugs.