French Trains, Roads Hit by Icy Conditions, Disrupting Traffic

Ice formed by a dip in temperatures overnight brought bumper-to-bumper traffic over 170 kilometers (106 miles) of highways in northern France and delays and cancelations of suburban Paris trains.

While Paris’s subways returned to normal service, trains connecting the city with surrounding towns remained disrupted. Ice formed on highways in much of the northern part of the country has slowed traffic, especially large trucks, Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said on RTL radio today.

“A few days before Spring, we have had atypical conditions, extraordinary conditions, with a lot of snow and a lot of wind,” he said.

Air France said on its website that it expects a progressive return to its normal schedule today. Eurostar, the train connection between Paris and London, and Thalys, which links the French capital to Brussels, were back in service, SNCF, the national rail service, said.

Meteo France has kept 21 districts in northern France on “orange” alert, with warnings about icy conditions in the Paris region, Nord-Pas de Calais and Normandy.

About 39,000 households in Normandy remained without power this morning, Energy Minister Delphine Batho said on Europe 1 radio.

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