Delays continue at Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel passengers are facing more delays after a broken down-train forced an evacuation and caused major disruption for travellers today.

Passengers were hit by delays
Passengers were hit by delays

Almost 400 passengers had to be evacuated in the Channel Tunnel when a France-bound shuttle train came to a halt after a problem with the overhead power line.

High-speed train company Eurostar tonight said the resultant damage was "unresolved and ongoing" and four services scheduled for tomorrow morning had been cancelled.

A Eurostar spokeswoman said: "Following the failure earlier today of a Eurotunnel shuttle train carrying passenger vehicles, the resultant damage to the overhead power supply cables inside the Channel Tunnel is unresolved and ongoing.

"Eurotunnel engineers are working to resolve the issues and restore full power to the affected section of the tunnel."

An update from Eurotunnel suggested repair work would continue until 6am tomorrow when the tunnel will partially re-open, Eurostar said.

A spokeswoman added: "These technical issues, which are beyond Eurostar's control, have, regrettably, led to significant disruption to Eurotunnel shuttle and Eurostar services today.

"As a consequence of the ongoing loss of power, Eurotunnel has informed Eurostar that some further disruption should be expected to services tomorrow morning. "

Eurostar said the following train services had been cancelled:

London to Paris, 7.31am departure, service 9006

Paris to London, 11.43am departure, service 9025

London to Brussels, 8.58am departure, service 9116

Brussels to London, 8:52am departure, service 9117

All other Eurostar services are expected to operate normally tomorrow and passengers should check-in as usual, the company added.

Eurostar said it was contacting affected passengers to alert them to the disruption to services.

Some 382 passengers and four dogs were evacuated from the train and taken on to the French terminal. The incident happened at around 7.30am about 7.5 miles into the 30-mile long tunnel.

Passengers faced long days throughout the day and a number of trains were cancelled, although some services were able to continue using one of the two running tunnels.

The broken down train reportedly reached France shortly after 5pm where passengers were reunited with their cars.

A spokeswoman for the Port of Dover said it was "working hard" with ferry companies to help get Tunnel traffic across the Channel.

She said: "The port continues to maximise available capacity for the additional traffic whilst maintaining a first class service for customers already heading to Europe's busiest ferry port.

"The port continues to monitor the situation closely, in liaison with its ferry partners. Freight traffic entering the port is currently heavy, due to the issues at the tunnel. Tourist traffic is flowing freely into the port but passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journey."