Et merci le #RERA ! Heureusement que vous faites pas grève et qu’il s’agit juste d’un rail cassé. Donc pas de L, pas de J et pas de A. Le 1 bondé juste impossible d’aller bosser. Et nous on aimerait bien aller bosser contrairement à d’autres… pic.twitter.com/4TfvrRHrXt
— Joséphine ⚯͛ (@WomenSouls) June 13, 2018
Gare Saint-Lazare, which normally sees nearly 450,000 passengers pass through it every day, came to a grinding halt on Wednesday morning as technicians did their best to fix the signal failure.
“This is a big glitch,” a spokesman for France's national rail company SNCF told AFP. The technical teams have been hard at work since 2.30 am “to carry out the necessary checks and repairs”.
SNCF has asked passengers of the L, J, Intercités and TER Normand lines to postpone their journeys.
Problems for commuters were compounded when a broken rail led to RER A – the busiest commuter line in Europe – led to traffic being suspended between Auber in central Paris and the business district of La Defense.
The incident – believed t be related to heavy rain in the region in recent days, comes a day after an RER B train partially overturned on the tracks to the south of Paris after rains washed away the support for the tracks. Trains were due to begin running at 10.30am though it may take longer before full service is restored.
The suspension of the RER A line meant commuters piled on to line 1 of the Paris Metro system.
And RER C trains were also suspended between Bretigny and Dourdan after a train hit a tree that had fallen on the line.
After the signal failure at Gare Saint-Lazare temporary stations were created at La Défense, Houilles Carrieres-sur-Seine, La Garenne-Colombes and Argenteuil.
Customers planning to travel are advised to consult the SNCF mobile app and the Transilien.com website. SNCF announced at around 10.4 that the souce o the signal failure had been found and that rail services would begin running again progressively.
Naturally it didn't take people long to start responding to the chaos on Twitter.
One user tweeted: “'Postpone your journeys…' SNCF thinks that people who are at Gare Saint-Lazare at 8 am are going on a picnic, hiking or to the beach…”
And others captured the packed station on camera:
And it wasn't only the signal failure causing disruption with Wednesday marking the latest day of strikes by SNCF staff against French President Emmanuel Macron's rail reforms.
The tweet below shows how services were set to be affected as a result of the industrial action.
On July 30th and August 1st 2017 holidaymakers were up in arms over the chaos at Montparnasse station in Paris — also down to a signal failure — which took two days to repair.