Train services between France and Italy have been halted until Thursday at the earliest, after a huge rockslide in the Maurienne valley of the French Alps which also blocked some roads, officials said Monday.
Regional authorities in Savoie said the rockslide occurred at 5:15 pm (1515 GMT) on Sunday, when “boulders with a total volume of 700 cubic metres (25,000 cubic feet)” slammed into a protective barrier along the RD 1006 road that leads to the Mont-Cenis pass into Italy’s Susa valley.
The landslide forced the suspension of all cross-border trains on the Chambery-Turin line, as well as TER regional trains in the Maurienne valley, French rail operator SNCF said.
The Frejus tunnel connecting France and Italy under the Alps has also been closed to heavy trucks, whose drivers are being advised to use the Mont Blanc tunnel or the A8 motorway instead.
French Transport Minister Clement Beaune said a return to normal services “will require several days”.
“After this massive landslide yesterday in Maurienne, our services are mobilised to restore road and rail service as quickly as possible,” he said on social media.