Friday, 12 September 2008



12 September 2008 – 16.30 (UK time) update

Due to the incident involving a Eurotunnel shuttle train in the Channel Tunnel on Thursday 11 September, Eurostar is unable to operate any services today, Friday 12 September.

Until Eurotunnel and the emergency services have undertaken their assessment of the incident, Eurostar is unable to say when services will resume.

Eurostar must await permission from Eurotunnel before it is able to re-start operations.

Once the single tunnel that is unaffected by the fire is re-opened, Eurostar hopes to begin a limited service with longer journey times.

Eurostar is therefore advising all travellers who hold Eurostar tickets for today, Saturday 13 September and Sunday 14 September that they should seek alternative means of making their journeys.

Travellers holding tickets for travel today, Saturday and Sunday are also able to exchange their tickets for travel at a later date, or get a full refund.

Eurostar will issue a further update when more information becomes available.


Somewhat disingenuously Eurostar claims this is an "update".

The last press release from the company was on Wednesday afternoon and concerned bikes on trains!

Pure merde

Three hundred British and French firemen took 16 hours to extinguish the fire that started in the southbound Channel Tunnel yesterday.

So fierce was the conflagration that at times temperatures reached 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius).

As a consequence it is unlikely that even a limited service will recommence until Sunday, at the very earliest.

Meanwhile the Eurotunnel chairman Jacques Gounon was telling listeners to French radio station RTL yesterday that some traffic could resume on Friday.

The Fact Compiler doesn't know which he preferred - Eurostar's silence (see previous posts) or Eurotunnel's bullshit.

Either way both companies proved utterly incapable of communicating the facts to intending passengers.

A lot less Franks

***Transit reports that David Franks is to start surrendering operational control of National Express East Coast to deputy Susan Goldsmith, but he denies he's leaving the flagship TOC.***

Read the Transit article here

Get a grip

Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
Those who forget the past are condemned to relive it - and how!

Eurotunnel's Richard (carbon footprint) Brown is a hot shot when it comes to saving the planet, but care of customers clearly takes less of his attention than saving the three toed Patagonian Newt.

Not only was there nothing about the Channel Tunnel fire on the Eurostar website two hours after Railway Eye was alerted, but as this quote reveals they didn't know how serious the situation was three hours after that.

We checked the website around 9pm," said finance manager Kirsty McIntyre, who had planned to spend the weekend in the Champagne region.

It just said delays are expected but it didn't say anything about cancelled services, so we came today and it's not happening. We are going to see if we can get a bus to Dover and a ferry to Calais."

Surely there must be a communications plan somewhere, based on what happened last time?

Back to the drawing board

Telegrammed by our independent expert
Nothing does more to expose the ignorance of national newspaper hacks about railways than the products of their picture desks or graphics departments.

Today's Telegraph graphic of the Channel Tunnel fire shows a train of lorries being hauled by the driving cab of a Eurostar Class 373!

You see where they get their bad habits from. A couple of weeks ago they ran a news story about fuel saving measures on the "locomotives" of Trans-Pennine Class 185 Desiros.

Shame on Transport Editor, David Millward.