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SNCF investigates after TGV mix-up

Rail workers confuse two trains for Nantes and Rennes, sending several hundred passengers in the wrong direction

THE SNCF has launched an investigation to find out how two TGVs were mixed up and sent to the wrong destinations, with more than 200 passengers on board.

The high-speed train from Montpellier was due to divide at Massy, near Paris, with one half continuing to Nantes and the other to Rennes.

However, passengers for Nantes were sent towards Rennes. They stopped in Le Mans to change on to a local train for their destination.

The other portion of the train, which wrongly headed towards Tours and Nantes, was eventually rerouted and arrived in Rennes two hours late, at about midnight.

The SNCF said the error was "very rare" and passengers were informed of the mix-up at the earliest opportunity.

The rail operator offered full refunds and provided free taxis for passengers to return home.

A spokesman in Brittany told Le Point: "As far as I know, this sort of incident has never happened before in this region. It is very rare, given that about a thousand TGVs run in France every day."

The mix-up comes less than a week after more than 600 passengers were delayed for 12 hours on a sleeper train from Strasbourg to Nice and Port-Bou on the Spanish border.

Shortly after departure, the train came to a halt at a station because the driver had exceeded his working hours, but there was no replacement available until the following morning.

The SNCF offered food, a refund and some free taxi and coach transfers, but some passengers are considering legal action.

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