Eurostar says train breaks down in England

22nd February 2010, Comments 0 comments

Over 700 passengers travelling from Paris to London had to wait for over an hour before a replacement train arrived.

London – A Eurostar train broke down in southeast England with hundreds of passengers trapped on board, the train operator said.

The cross-Channel rail operator said 740 travellers on the Paris to London service were trapped around 10:45 pm (2245 GMT) on Sunday near Ashford, in Kent, when the train ground to a halt.

Passengers said they had waited more than an hour before a replacement train arrived to take them to St Pancras station in London.

They said they were plunged into darkness after the breakdown, but the operator said emergency lighting eventually came on.

A passenger called Oliver told Sky News television that the train suddenly stopped and the lights went out.

"It's getting fairly hot, but people are very calm, very relaxed," he said.

"We don't know exactly what happened or why at the moment," a Eurostar spokesman said.

"We are investigating what happened fully."

The service's departure from Gare du Nord in the French capital late Sunday had already been delayed after an unattended bag caused a security alert.

The operator said no disruptions to services between London and Paris were expected as a result of the breakdown.

Eurostar has recently been hit by a series of problems, the most serious being the breakdown of five trains carrying more than 2,000 passengers in the Channel Tunnel during the busy pre-Christmas period.

An independent probe earlier this month condemned Eurostar over the breakdowns, saying the operator had failed to prepare sufficiently for winter weather.

AFP / Expatica

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