Report to call for Eurostar to improve communications

Better communications is expected to be one of the key recommendations in an independent inquiry report into the pre-Christmas Eurostar debacle.


The report follows scenes of Chaos before Christmas, when hundreds of passengers were stuck for hours in the Channel Tunnel after five UK-bound high-speed Eurostar trains broke down.

It is expected to criticise Eurostar for leaving many of the stranded passengers claiming that they were given little or no information of what was going on. The report is also likely to recommend that communications inside the tunnel – and between Eurostar and tunnel operator Eurotunnel – be improved.

The company blamed the chaos on the fine, powdery snow in northern France which penetrated the trains’ power cars. The resulting breakdowns led to Eurostar having to cancel all services for three days during the busy lead-up to Christmas.

The report has been compiled by former GNER East Coast Main Line rail boss Christopher Garnett and French transport expert Claude Gressier.

It is thought the report will also say that extra rescue locomotives should be posted near the tunnel to haul out failed trains and that tougher cladding should be installed on trains to combat snow and could be critical of the way Eurostar prepared its trains for the onset of winter.

Eurostar, which operates 186mph London to Paris and Brussels trains, apologised to passengers after the pre-Christmas fiasco, which included a sixth train sent to help the following day also breaking down. A full pafge ad was taken to publish an apology letter and announce this inquiry.

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