At Least 600 Passengers Trapped in Thalys Train Under Sweltering Heat in France

At least 600 passengers were left stranded on a Thalys train without air conditioning near the Saint-Denis station as temperatures reached at least 40C outside.

The Thalys reportedly departed from the Paris Gare du Nord and was headed to Brussels and Amsterdam before it suddenly broke down.

“The air conditioning is not working, we are all wet with sweat. Several people have become unwell and we are not allowed to get out. Normally we would have left at 5.30 pm, but were delayed by an hour. When the train started running at half past six, it only took a few minutes. He fell silent just outside the station. To make matters worse, the air conditioning also failed,” said Lydie Leers, a passenger from Antwerp.

The passengers reportedly tried to open or break the windows while water bottles were being distributed but there was no evacuations ordered. 

A Thalys crew member and passenger break a window for ventilation after the train broke down during a heat wave, at the Saint-Denis station near Paris. 19 July 2022

At least two passengers felt ill because of the heat but train staff still did not allow them to disembark. 

The passengers were then sent to the Gare du Nord station in Paris, but were not given accommodation and were told instead to sleep at another train.

Thalys did not give an explanation for the breakdown or mention any compensation or support for the affected passengers. 

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