Eurostar chaos after overhead wire problems in France
Tuesday 06 March 2012
Passengers endured more travel misery today as Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar cancelled some services, while others were delayed.
Four trains were axed and there were delays of up to an hour on other services following overhead wire problems in France.
The morning cancellations involved one London-Paris service, one London-Brussels, one Brussels-London and one Paris-London.
The delays affected those attending Paris Fashion Week, with some passengers taking eight hours to reach the French capital yesterday.
The trouble started when trains got stuck between Lille and Paris yesterday, with some brought to a standstill and others having to be diverted on to non high-speed lines. Four services were axed.
Kandy Woodfield, who spent more than seven hours on a train after leaving London yesterday afternoon, described the experience as “hellish”, while Therese Kelly, who was stuck for eight hours, told the BBC: “We had no announcements about why the train was so delayed or why it kept stopping. The train didn't move for hours. The whole train journey was brutal, totally brutal.”
Ryan Armstrong, who was travelling to Amsterdam via London, missed his connecting flight because of the delays.
He told the BBC: “We were basically on the train for nine hours. We hardly moved; there was a lot of standing still. At one point the power was cut so we couldn't see anything or get any information.”
Disgruntled travellers expressed dismay on Twitter.
In a series of postings, model Poppy Delevigne told her 10,000 followers she was “deliriously tired” after an eight-hour journey.
A later posting read: “Blew a kiss to the receptionist at my hotel as he gave me my key. He looked scared. So would I be. Deliriously tired. Snore £8houreurostar.”
Fellow model Laura Bailey, formerly a face of Marks & Spencer, appeared to be hoping for a smooth crossing.
“Less conspiracy theories. More wine and cheese... and Paris before breakfast please. £eurostar”, she wrote.
Designer Henry Holland was less optimistic, writing simply: “Eurostar DISASTER”.
Another passenger apparently caught up in the disruption added: “Eurostar in future when having severe delays such as 6 hours late, your staff should be trained to acknowledge it! It is not a mere 5 mins!”
A Eurostar spokeswoman said today: “We have had word that the problem has now been sorted out. All our cancellations today were to early-morning services.
“We have closed bookings on certain services so we can accommodate passengers who have had their trains cancelled.”
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