Eurotunnel rescues Eurostar

Overnight from Friday 18 to Saturday 19 December Eurotunnel staff went to the assistance of 5 Eurostar trains which had broken down in the Channel Tunnel, following technical failures. These incidents were in no way due to the Tunnel infrastructure.

Eurotunnel staff:

  • Rescued 5 Eurostar trains which had lost traction
  • Evacuated 1,364 Eurostar passengers and brought them to the surface in Folkestone, Kent using their own trains, where they were able to continue their journey to London
  • Towed 2 Eurostars to St Pancras as Eurostar did not have the means to do so themselves*

Pascal Sainson, Eurotunnel Operations Director, commented:

"In very difficult conditions Eurotunnel made the decision to assist the Eurostar trains and their passengers. In order to conduct these operations in complete safety, Eurotunnel mobilised substantial extra staff and technical resources and also made the decision to interrupt its own services. Eurotunnel has done everything it can to resolve the situation".

Traffic in the Channel Tunnel has been progressively returning to normal since 05:40 CET this morning.

In anticipation of heavy traffic this weekend Eurotunnel had already instigated its BAR Programme (Busy And Ready) . In particular a fleet of snow ploughs and road clearing vehicles has been operating to clear snow from the terminal in Coquelles, France to reduce the impact of the current severe weather in northern France.

Eurotunnel is however not responsible for the condition of the motorways.

Eurotunnel has put in place an organisation to help passengers to cross the Channel even if they arrive late at the departure terminal.

* Eurotunnel locomotives and Shuttles are prepared and maintained so that they are not affected by rapid temperature changes.

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