The intercity train, carrying 220 passengers, started spewing smoke near the southern French town of Tarascon, the SNCF rail network reports, and firefighters intervened near the station of nearby Manduel.
Passengers in the first three carriages had to be moved to back of the train, which was then towed to Nîmes, where they were to be transferred to another.
The relief train was expected to arrive in Bordeaux three hours late.
About 10 others using the same line were expected to suffer delays of about two and a half hours.
The cause of the blaze were not known on Saturday morning.