Children expelled from their train by the police: a conflict between families and the SNCF

A disturbing incident for three young travelers

What a surprise for Louis (13 years old), Jeanne (11 years old) and Oléa (8 years old)! While they were simply thinking of taking the train from Lille to Rennes, accompanied by the SNCF Junior & Cie service, their trip took an unexpected turn. Indeed, after only an hour of travel, the police, who arrived at Roissy – Charles-de-Gaulle station, asked the children to get off the train, causing concern and discontent among their parents as well as other passengers. present.

The SNCF support service: conditions and flaws

The Junior & Cie service, offered by SNCF since 1979, is designed to allow children to travel alone while being supervised by professionals. This service is available to more than 130 destinations during school holidays and to around 20 others the rest of the year. However, pre-check-in is required between 30 minutes and one hour before departure, depending on the resort, to ensure the safety and well-being of children. In this specific case, the parents’ delay and lack of registration led to a problematic situation.

Institutional response and legal actions

Faced with this situation, the train crew, noting that the children were not registered and therefore not legally in their custody, decided to hand them over to the police for their safety. This action, although controversial, is part of a precautionary logic, given that only children aged 12 and over are authorized to travel alone according to SNCF regulations without specific accompaniment. The police, after taking charge of the minors, contacted the parents to pick up their children at the airport.

The repercussions of an unfortunate misunderstanding

The incident caused a wave of indignation among the families concerned and other witnesses, pushing the parents to file a lawsuit against the SNCF for its handling of the situation. Despite this unfortunate event, the children took the train again the following Sunday, still under the aegis of the Junior & Cie service, for their return journey from Rennes to Lille, with no other complications reported.