The Interior Ministry said some 192 people were either injured or being treated for shock - of which nine were in a critical condition.
The train was carrying approximately 385 passengers when it suddenly skidded off its rails at the station at Bretigny-sur-Orge, 12 miles south of Paris, around 5:15 p.m. local time. Train cars slammed into each other and overturned.
Two train cars, cars number 3 and 4, initially derailed, then knocked the other cars off the track, SNCF chief Guillaume Pepy said.
"Some cars simply derailed, others are leaning, others fell over," he said.
All trains from Paris' Gare d'Austerlitz were suspended after the accident.
The train that derailed was headed to Limoges from Paris. The cause of the derailment is under investigation. Witnesses reported that the train was not moving at an excessive speed, deepening the mystery of what happened.
The accident came as France is preparing to celebrate its most important national holiday, Bastille Day, on Sunday, and as masses of vacationers are heading out of Paris and other big cities to see family or for summer vacation.