Rail traffic on French Riviera returns to normal

22nd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, Aug 22 (AFP) - Rail traffic between the southern French cities of Nice and Marseille was returning to normal Sunday evening after being badly disrupted for some hours by a technical failure, the state railway compnay SNCF said.

MARSEILLE, France, Aug 22 (AFP) - Rail traffic between the southern French cities of Nice and Marseille was returning to normal Sunday evening after being badly disrupted for some hours by a technical failure, the state railway compnay SNCF said.

Traffic in both directions was subject to major delays after the breaking of an overhead power-supply cable in the third such freak accident in southern France in less than 24 hours.

A spokesman for the state railway company SNCF said eight mainline trains carrying thousands of passengers returning from vacation had been delayed on one of the busiest days of the year.

Only one track was open between Les Arcs and Saint-Raphael in the Var department of Provence beween 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) and 6:30 pm when the fault was corrected.

"The delays will be gradually reduced, but it will take until the end of the evening," SNCF said. It added that the maximum delay had been of four hours and had affected four high-speed (TGV) trains to and from Nice.

The chaos began early Sunday when a local train dragged and broke the cable from which trains obtain overhead electricity, requiring all power to the line to be cut off.

Similar line breaks occurred Saturday at Menton on the border with Italy and at Monaco, and were repaired during the night.

A railway spokesman said it was "extremely rare for (cables) to be broken in so many places in such a short period of time."

© AFP

Subject: French news

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