Train stranded for 18 hours in snow

Schools are closed in the Pyrénées-Orientales and there are no trains around Perpignan

110 passengers are stuck on train in the Pyrenees since yesterday afternoon as snow brings chaos to south of France

MORE than a hundred passengers have spent the night stranded on a broken-down sleeper train in the Pyrénées-Orientales after it hit 40cm of snow near the Spanish border yesterday afternoon.

The train, linking Barcelona to Montpellier, came to a halt in the border town of Cerbère at about 14.00 and is still stuck there 18 hours later, with 110 passengers on board.

The train cannot be reached by emergency services because the roads are blocked.

The local préfecture has requisitioned a local convenience store to supply passengers with food and drink and the SNCF has worked overnight to keep the train heated using an emergency generator after the area lost power yesterday evening.

There are no trains running today between Narbonne and Perpignan because of yesterday's burst of heavy snow, which hit 10 departments in the south of France from the Pyrenees along the Languedoc coast to the Vaucluse.

Some 600 lorries and hundreds of cars were stuck on the A9 motorway and local councils opened emergency shelters for stranded travellers. School is cancelled today in the Pyrénées-Orientales because of the icy roads.

Today it is the turn of Corsica to get snow and winds of up to 110kph. Météo France has issued a weather warning for the island until 6.00 tomorrow morning.

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