The young woman boarded the RER train at Gare de Lyon on Wednesday evening, heading out to the southern Paris suburbs.
But during the journey she went into labour, giving birth at the Villeneuve-Saint-Georges station on the outskirts of Paris.
Le train était bloqué pendant 45min à Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, y’a une dame qui à accouché d’une petite fille dans le RER D ?????
— •~ Coumbaty ?•~ (@nayssalishis) December 11, 2019
She had a healthy baby girl, reported SNCF officials, adding that although the traffic on the line had to be interrupted, her fellow commuters reacted positively.
The RER service which links Paris to its suburbs has been badly hit by the strike, with an average of one in three services running during rush hour.
This has meant that the services have been extremely busy in recent days as desperate commuters struggle to reach the further out suburbs, from which walking or cycling into Paris is not an option.
The crush prompted scenes of near panic at Gare du Nord station on Monday as thousands of people tried to cram onto one of the few trains running.
Scènes de panique à #GareduNord où les agents de sûreté de la SNCF doivent user de toutes leurs forces pour repousser les voyageurs qui tentent de monter dans les trains. #grevedu9decembre pic.twitter.com/uKerfkUAWn
— Pierre Tremblay (@tremblay_p) December 9, 2019
Births in RER trains happen every so often and it has become a custom for SNCF to offer a permanent Navigo travel pass to every child born inside their rolling stock.
This is also the case on the Metro – a boy born on the Line 6 in November 2018 was given a free Navigo card until his 25th birthday.
“We have a new customer and we are going to welcome the newborn with a gesture,” said a SNCF spokesperson without providing any further detail.
By Jean-Baptiste Andrieux