Paris Montparnasse train users face huge delays due to power cut

An electrical failure at the famous Paris train station on Thursday led France’s public rail workers to ask travellers to postpone their trips to various parts of the country.

Paris Montparnasse train users face huge delays due to power cut

France’s SNCF has asked train travellers who have booked or were planning to catch a TGV on Thursday between Paris Montparnasse and stations in Brittany, Pays-de-la-Loire and south west France to opt for another route or delay their trips until Friday.

An electrical incident, which took place at around 8.45 on Thursday morning, has caused problems and delays of up to four hours in both directions throughout the day.

Even though the electrical failure was fixed in less than half an hour, the backlog of passengers it caused has forced France’s public rail body to make the announcement.

A further delay on one of the lines was caused by passengers clambering out of one of the affected trains between stations when the power tripped.

“We are still experiencing problems with the power tripping,” an SNCF spokesperson is quoted as saying by BFMTV.

Fortunately there are alternative routes for those who have to catch their trains on Thursday.

Trains running to and from the south west have been transferred from Montparnasse to Austerlitz station on the left bank of the Seine in the south east of the capital.

The station is approximately a 20-minute drive away from Montparnasse or 40 minutes on foot.

So the TGV trains between Paris and Tours, La Rochelle, Poitiers, Bordeaux, and stations after Bordeaux “will start leaving and arriving at Austerlitz rather than Montparnasse by 15:27,” according to the SNCF.

All Ouigo trains and other TGV trains bound for Brittany and the Pays-de-la-Loire “will continue to depart and arrive at Paris Montparnasse”.

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Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.