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Fran

Hello - on the 10.07 train (which finally departed around 10.35am) from Paris to Barcelona on Wednesday 28 September, my husband's bag was stolen. It was on the luggage rack directly above his head. It contained a significant amount of money, together with passports, electronic equipment, clothing and other items.
The train was running late from Paris - passengers were first directed to one train and after hauling suitcases up the stairs to the various coaches, we were then told we were on the wrong train and everyone had to retrieve their luggage and run for another train further along the platform. Made more difficult when the doors from the coach to the stairs jammed and people could not get out. We had to then negotiate our way to the doors at the other end of the first class carriage.Total chaos. Platform announcements were unintelligible which added to the confusion.
The train stopped in Valence to drop off and collect passengers. A 'gentleman' sat in the seat directly behind my husband. No tickets had been checked by this stage and no train staff sighted with the exception of a group of what appeared to be Customs officers. When we realised the bag was missing, the train was about to arrive in Nimes. And the 'gentleman' in the seat behind my husband had disappeared. By the time I found a train staff member, the train was coming into the station - where the thief presumably alighted. Train staff said there was nothing that could be done and that the same thing had happened the day before - or happens all the time. I have limited Spanish and French so it was difficult to ascertain.
Prior to arrival in Barcelona I tried to speak with the train manager. He spoke no English, but through the person manning the buffet car who had a little English, I was directed to wait for his colleague who did speak English. When she arrived, she did not speak English, and in French seemed to be saying the theft was my fault and that we should have gotten off the train in Nimes to report the theft to the police there as the incident occurred in France. Ridiculous!
So, no help from any SNCF staff member. The police I tried to speak with at Barcelona Sants on arrival was also not interested. After a taxi to our accommodation we called our embassy to report the theft, and found a police station in central Barcelona to complete a crime report.
Fortunately, our embassy will be able to issue an emergency passport so we can leave Spain.
We are very shocked that such an incident could happen in first class and that SNCF were so dismissive in our distress. If this is a common occurrence on your trains, why are passengers not told? And where are your staff during the journey?
This experience has ruined our long-awaited holiday.

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