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Eurostar planning for full service

Eurostar said it plans a full service tomorrow after delays and cancellations struck for a second successive day, as passengers complained of long waits to rebook seats.

Thousands of passengers were left stranded by a lorry fire on a train in the Channel Tunnel on Saturday and then a power supply problem this morning saw 11 trains cancelled on the service as people were trying to restart their journeys.

Eurostar apologised to passengers this afternoon after some took to Twitter to complain of waits of up to nine hours on its telephone booking system, having been told to use it to reorganised their journey.

The operator said that Eurotunnel was planning engineering work tonight to put "more sections of the tunnel back into service tomorrow". Only one of the two train tunnels was left operational after the fire.

A Eurostar spokeswoman said: "Eurostar plans to run a full service and passengers are advised to check-in as normal.

"As Eurotunnel will not be completely operational Eurostar services may be subject to delays of up to about 30 minutes."

Six Eurostar trains from London, two from Paris and three from Brussels have been cancelled after a separate power supply problem closed both tunnels for two hours this morning, the company said.

Services due to leave London St Pancras at 2.04pm, 3.31pm, 5.04pm, 6.04pm, 6.31pm and 8.04pm were cancelled.

Users took to Twitter the air their frustration at the time it took to rebook tickets.

One user called Esme Caldwell from London tweeted that she had been on hold for nine hours.

In response to a company tweet asking if she had the correct number, she replied: "Yes I called 03432 186 186 at 8am. It's playing the music and the hold message. Still on hold. It's been 9 hours. Please call me."

Londoner Sam Fisher wrote: "@Eurostar Train cancelled this evening due to fire test, on hold for 2hrs and counting Eurostar, sort it out! Shocking response time."

Helena Halme, a Finnish author living in London according to her account, wrote: "I've been on hold from #Paris to UK for 2 hrs to rebook canceled (sic) #London return. Can't do it online.

"We've had to recheck into our #Paris hotel as no idea when can travel home. How long am I supposed to hold on phone @Eurostar @EurostarUK?"

The Eurotunnel Le Shuttle car service between Folkestone and Calais was also affected, with the company tweeting at one point that there were delays of five-and-a-half hours for passengers wanting to get to the UK from France, and three-hour waits going to the Continent.


From Belfast Telegraph