After a long three days of cancellations due to weather, Eurostar has finally been able to resume services between London and the Continent. Although this is great news for passengers, the bad news is that the service is still very limited.
On top of this, there is other bad news for passengers. Now that travel has restarted, there is a chaotic scene at St Pancras, as thousands waited in subzero temperatures in hopes of being able to catch the first high speed train out of the station since Friday. Almost 3,000 customers were waiting at 5am, some of them had been waiting all night. The first train did not leave until 7:40 am.
Almost 55,000 people had been left stranded by a fault caused by snow melting in the Channel Tunnel, shorting electrical circuits. Over 2,000 passengers were trapped on trains overnight in the tunnel last Friday. Passengers protested at delays and lack of information, while politicians on both sides of the channel criticized Eurostar.
However, Eurostar did finally give their first real explanation to what caused the problem. The Commercial Director, Nick Mercer, said that the amount of snow was higher than what they had experienced before. The Chief operating officer, Nicolas Petrovic, went on to say that the dry, powdery snow, which is very unusual for northern France, got sucked into the trains’ engines. This sparked a failure on the electrical circuits.
Eurostar is going to offer a limited service for passengers who had tickets booked for the weekend. However, a lot of passengers that showed up were told to return again tomorrow, because not everyone would be taken home the first day.