Jean Lassalle, an independent MP, made the faux pas when he was running late to watch his son’s rugby match in Bedous, south-west France.
“I saw this magnificent place and I parked there,” he told France Bleu.
But after the police approached him during the match and explained the situation, Lassalle “suddenly realised” what he’d done.
In the meantime, a train had been stopped in its tracks by his vehicle.
“The train was indeed at a standstill,” Lassalle told newspaper Sud Ouest.
“I apologised to the passengers. Everyone was very nice.”
According to Lassalle, visibility was good that day and there was never any danger of the train crashing.
“I have no excuse: it's been two years since the line [opened] and I even inaugurated it,” he said. “It's a big mistake.”
The 65-year-old, who has served as an Independent member of the National Assembly since 2002, quipped: “If I had a driver like many of my peers, that would not happen!“
It’s not the only controversy to involve a French train.
In August 2020, a passenger on a train in France was forced to get off after refusing to wear a face mask.
The unnamed man was travelling on the TGV Paris-Nice service when he was asked to put on a face covering, which are currently mandatory on French public transport.
He repeatedly refused, until the decision was taken to make an unscheduled stop so the man could be kicked off.
The train doesn’t normally stop before reaching Marseille, but railway security opted to eject the traveller at Creusot in the Saône-et-Loire region of eastern France – around 470km away from the next scheduled stop.
The man was also fined €135 for failing to comply with the rules.
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