Officials said there were "many casualties" after the intercity train from Paris to Limoges, a city in central France, hit the platform at Bretigny-sur-Org, 16 miles south of the capital around 5 p.m. Friday.
"The train arrived at the station at high speed. It split in two for an unknown reason," police said. "Part of the train continued to roll while the other was left on its side on the platform.”
Initial reports said passengers were crushed and electrocuted during the accident.
Jean-Paul Boulet, of France's SNCF, the state-owned rail company, said the train was carrying some 350 passengers.
Some of the survivors were reportedly trapped inside the train, and local MP Michel Pouzol said four of the train cars had come to rest on their side.