Several people had to be evacuated for medical reasons, according to the France-Info channel.
Others posted images of children sleeping on the ground and described having to deal with power cuts and crowded train platforms.
1:15 am. Still in the train stuck in the middle of the track. Departure from Biarritz at 3:55 p.m. I will spend the whole night with my wife and 2 year old son without food and water.
This is where my son sleeps in full covid
Bravo @SNCF @ouisncf pic.twitter.com/AyS8mTHDJu
– GEN1US (@NormanGenius) August 30, 2020
The national rail authority SNCF said problems on several routes started on Saturday afternoon, including a “major power outage” that interrupted traffic in the southwest. France and disturbed movements from there to Paris.
Four high-speed trains connecting Bordeaux to neighboring towns ran aground on tracks overnight, SNCF said.
Passengers on these trains were returned to their departure locations overnight and on Monday morning, then boarded buses and other trains to reach their destinations.
Florence de Silva wrote on Twitter that at 11:40 a.m. Monday, nearly 500 people were stranded in the city of Hendaye, waiting for a bus to Bordeaux.
Some people going to Paris were still stranded on trains late Monday morning.
There should be delays until Tuesday morning, young Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said on BFM television.
Many passengers have expressed their anger on social media, with some providing regular updates on their trip.
Jade Grandin said she spent 13 hours on a train from Pau to Paris – a journey that should have taken between four and five hours.
She said she had little to eat and the train was running out of toilet paper.
It’s the rush, the hustle and bustle, the hustle and bustle to get the precious little orange boxes labeled “meal assistance”. They will expire in May 2021, a sign that the COS knows how to hoard and sustainably manage its stocks. But let’s not expect sushi. pic.twitter.com/0ewtgVpVLx
– Jade Grandin (@JadeGrandin) August 30, 2020
Another passenger, Pierre, said it took nearly 24 hours to reach Paris from Bayonne.
At one point, the electricity went out on the train and passengers were ordered to leave their cars in complete darkness, he said.
He also said the bar was running out of food, there was no soap left and there was no more seating between passengers to allow for social distancing.
“Some people don’t feel well, it gets crazy,” he wrote on Twitter.
SNCF will reimburse all passengers three times the price of their tickets and distribute 4,000 masks, water and food, said the little transport minister.
Mr Djebbari said 37 miles of track sustained damage to the high-power overhead cables.
According to an SNCF estimate, around 5,000 passengers were affected by delays or cancellations of trains.