Friday, November 21, 2014

Eurostar train breaks down in France with power failure

Eurostar passengers say the train broke down at Lille after suffering a broken cable leaving them in darkness, unable to open doors

A Eurostar train in northern France
A Eurostar train in northern France Photo: Alamy
Two Eurostar trains packed with hundreds of British passengers were stranded for nearly five hours in France after an overhead power cable snapped.
Frustrated and angry passengers tweeted that they were stranded on the trains 10km from Lille in total darkness after the trains broke down shortly after 6pm on Thursday.
Eurostar said replacement diesel trains were being sent to ferry the passengers back to Lille.
Two trains were affected, the Paris-London and London-Brussels. Other Eurostar services were disrupted as a result.
One passenger Chris Littlecott ‏tweeted: "Left Brussels 19:52. Now waiting to enter channel tunnel 01:52. I only made it on to train at last minute. Wish I had missed it. #Eurostar."
Frederik Van Hecke ‏tweeted: "We are waiting for a diesel train to come and pull. If that would take too long buses would be coming to evacuate.. #Eurostar #9152"
A passenger, Bart tweeted: "Enjoying a long ride with @Eurostar tonight. Left London 4 hrs ago and still not in Lille, power cable issues preventing train from moving."
The BBC's Robert van Geffen added: "Eurostar train which departed from St Pancras at 18:01 has stranded in North France with a broken electr cable. Complete black out."
Passenger Fabian Darrigues tweeted: "Stopped in the middle of nowhere. No power. No explanation. Train manager asking for a doctor urgently. Get me out of here!"
Annie Groom said: "Marooned on the #Eurostar train at Lille for 2 hrs due to no power!! Long night ahead I fear!!"
Travel journalist Trisha Harbord tweeted: "Service update: A diesel train has been sent out to recover #es9046 and will tow it back to Lille where a replacement service will be used."
A Eurostar spokesman said: "Unfortunately a broken overhead power cable has resulted in two Eurostar trains becoming stuck outside Lille and we are arranging to collect the passengers with a diesel train."
He said it was not a case that the train doors could not be opened but said they were unable to let passengers off the trains for safety reasons until a replacement train had arrived to collect them.


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