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Home   Folkestone   News   Article

Delays continue for Eurotunnel and Eurostar passengers after hundreds evacuated following power failure in Channel Tunnel

08 July 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Passengers have been suffering more disruption and cancellations through the Channel Tunnel today.

Eurotunnel - which takes passengers and their vehicles from Folkestone to Calais - said workers spent most of the day repairing the damaged stretch of the tunnel.

Almost 400 people were evacuated and had to walk to safety when a Eurotunnel train broke down following a power failure yesterday.

Stranded passengers inside a Eurotunnel train. Picture Brian Tait

Stranded passengers inside a Eurotunnel train. Picture: Brian Tait

Engineers had been working through the night to fix damaged overhead power cables in one of the tunnels.

Thousands of travellers faced disrupted journeys all day yesterday.

And freight services from Folkestone were this morning still facing a four-hour wait, while car traffic was experiencing a two-hour delay in Kent.

Meanwhile, a lane of the M20 turn-off for the Channel Tunnel was closed because of queuing traffic. 

And four Eurostar services - carrying passengers between St Pancras and Paris via Ebsfleet and Ashford - were cancelled this morning as engineers worked to repair "unresolved and ongoing" damage.

Repair work was finished by about 1pm today, but delays were expected to continue into the afternoon.

Eurotunnel passengers are led to safety in the Channel Tunnel. Picture Brian Tait

Eurotunnel passengers are led to safety in the Channel Tunnel. Picture: Brian Tait

The France-bound Eurotunnel train lost its connection to an overhead power line at 7.30am yesterday about eight miles into the 30-mile tunnel.

Evacuated passengers were taken to Calais and were reportedly not reunited with their cars until about 5pm.

A Eurostar spokesman said this morning: "Following the failure 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.

"These technical issues, which are beyond Eurostar's control, have, regrettably, led to significant disruption to Eurotunnel Shuttle and Eurostar services."

Eurotunnel passengers are evacuated after a power failure

Eurotunnel passengers are evacuated after a power failure

Passengers who were due to travel on the cancelled services will be offered full refunds or given the chance to exchange tickets for travel on a different day.

Meanwhile, Eurotunnel has announced it is due to begin work on an extension to its freight services in Folkestone - after work on a new cargo terminal in France got under way yesterday.

More access lanes and an improved check in facility will be put in place in Kent, following the beginning of its Terminal 2015 project in Coquelles.

Click here for more news from Folkestone.

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