Eurostar resumes after three days halt due to snow

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Car Rental News - 25/12/2009


Eurostar begins clearing giant backlog

After three days of service cancellation, Eurostar had resumed its rail service on Tuesday between London and continental Europe.

But the scene at St Pancras Station was chaotic, as thousands of travellers lined up under sub-zero weather conditions in the hope of taking the first scheduled trains. About 3,000 passengers were already in queue since 5:00, with some people lining overnight.

On Friday, more than 55,000 Eurostar travellers had been stranded due to the shorting of electrical circuits in Channel Tunnel. Meanwhile, at least 2,000 passengers were trapped overnight inside the trains.

The rail company presented its first assessment of the problem on Monday night. Nick Mercer, Commercial Director of Eurostar, said that the current amount of snow was higher than experienced before and that the snow was lighter than normal. Moreover, Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Operating Officer, informed that the unusually dry, powdery snow in northern France had been sucked into the trains’ engines, resulting in electrical circuit failure.

Both travellers and politicians criticized the train operator for the delays and lack of information on new schedules. Eurostar had only offered limited service on Tuesday for train passengers who had their tickets booked during the weekend, with many being advised to come back the following day.

The train operator had also notified holidaymakers with trips scheduled on that day not to come because there were only limited seats. However, hundreds arrived in the station with their suitcases in the hope that they could travel, only to be refused after queuing for over an hour.

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