Eurostar bounces back from pre-Christmas breakdowns

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar has bounced back from the low point of its catastrophic pre-Christmas breakdowns, it was revealed today.

The company achieved sales revenue of £178 million in the first three months of 2010 - up more than 5% on the January-March 2009 total.

Passenger numbers for the first three months of this year totalled two million - up from 1.9 million in the first quarter of last year.

Numbers were boosted by a 22% rise in passengers from markets outside Europe.

While business traveller numbers remained flat in the first quarter of 2010, the number of leisure passengers travelling between the UK and the continent rose 6% to 1.76 million.

Eurostar, which runs trains between London and Paris and Brussels, had a miserable end to 2009 when five snow-affected trains got stuck in the tunnel just before Christmas.

Passengers endured hours of misery and Eurostar had to cancel all services for three days.

The debacle prompted an independent inquiry which was highly critical of the company which has now put in hand a series of improvements to ensure there is no repeat of the travel chaos.