Latest Rail News

02.09.15

Calais trespassers cause major Eurostar disruption

Rail services between Britain and France were severely disrupted overnight after trespassers in Calais got on the tracks near the Channel Tunnel. 

Police were called to SNCF tracks nearly 2km away from the tunnel, amid reports that migrants were attempting to climb on trains. 

The operator, at the time, said: “Our trains are currently held whilst the authorities deal with trespassers.”

After passengers endured long delays, and two Eurostar services were eventually forced to turn back – one to London and one to Paris.

This morning Eurostar said some 2,000 people had been affected by delays to six services, with one train being left at Calais when it was unable to get back to Paris because of a technical fault.

 Eurotunnel, which manages and operates the Channel Tunnel, said the tracks – used by Eurostar and national network freight trains – were blocked between 21:45 and 02:23 local time. 

This morning the operator sent a rescue train from London to collect passengers in Calais.  Eurostar has continued to refer only to the people on the tracks as “trespassers”, but a number of commuters said they saw migrants in the area.  

A spokesman for Eurostar said passengers hoping to travel later today should expect a normal service but added that two trains have been cancelled “in order to ensure the service is as robust as possible”. Anyone affected by the disruption will be compensated, the spokesman said. 

Speaking to the BBC, Eurotunnel’s John Keefe said: “Due to increased security at the Channel Tunnel they [migrants] are now trying to get on the tracks which Eurostar and freight trains use.”

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