Eurostar chaos continues as cable fault delays thousands of passengers


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The Independent Online

Eurostar passengers continued to endure delays today, after an evening of chaos caused by overhead wire problems in France.

Four trains have been cancelled this morning and delays of up to an hour are being reported. Today's cancellations were all early-morning services, taking in one London-Paris train, one London to Brussels, one Brussels to London and one Paris-London.

Last night, thousands of Eurostar customers were held in trains for up to nine hours as the cross-Channel service suffered power faults between Lille and Paris, followed by emergency repair works.

Many trains were brought to a complete standstill, while others were diverted to non high-speed lines.

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."

Last night's delays also had a major impact on those travelling to attend Paris Fashion Week, with models and fashion designers taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Model Poppy Delevigne told her 10,000 followers she was "deliriously tired" after an eight-hour journey.

She tweeted: "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."

Designer Henry Holland tweeted: "Eurostar DISASTER".

The model Laura Bailey was slightly more optimistic about proceedings, however, tweeting:  "Less conspiracy theories. More wine and cheese... and Paris before breakfast please. #eurostar".

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."