Eurostar slammed over breakdowns

2010-02-12 18:37

kalahari.com

  • Weather
    Looking at topics such as - the weather Wind, cloud, tornadoes, twisters and more. Now R216.00
    buy now
London - An independent probe slammed cross-Channel train operator Eurostar on Friday for failing to prepare sufficiently for winter weather, which led to breakdowns and mass disruption in December.

Eurostar also had "no plan in place" to deal with the chaos created when five trains carrying more than 2 000 passengers broke down in the Channel Tunnel in the busy pre-Christmas period, the investigation said.

The company said it welcomed the findings and promised to spend over £30m on upgrades.

"We will be investing ... to improve the resilience of the Eurostar trains during severe winter conditions as well as passenger care during disruption and customer communication both inside and outside the Tunnel," it said.

The maintenance of the trains came in for particular criticism - some of those which broke down had no snow screens on their power cars, which allowed a fine type of snow to cause the electrical systems to fail.

Passengers stuck on the trains in the tunnel endured overflowing toilets, darkness and stuffy conditions for hours on end, the report said, adding that "provision of information to customers was inadequate".

Services were cancelled and disrupted following the breakdowns, throwing the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers trying to travel between London and Paris and Brussels into disarray.

The poor quality of information offered to passengers waiting to take cancelled or delayed trains was also highlighted.

Eurostar apologised for the disruption caused.

"We fully accept that the handling of the disruption was unacceptable and are very sorry for the inconvenience and discomfort that we caused to our passengers," it said.

The study, by former train company boss Christopher Garnett and French civil engineer Claude Gressier, said the weather in northern France on December 18 was "extremely severe with heavy snowfall".

"The review... found that Eurostar trains had not undergone sufficient winter weather preparations to withstand these conditions and that maintenance procedures should be revised," it read.

The first train to break down in the Tunnel was recovered "quickly" but "four further trains then broke down in rapid succession and passengers from two of them had to be evacuated onto Eurotunnel passenger shuttles inside the Tunnel.

"This was the first time this had happened in 15 years of operation," the review said.

While the evacuation of trains inside the tunnel under the English Channel was carried out "safely and efficiently", the report highlighted "concerns" about conditions in the trains after they lost air conditioning and lighting.

It also said communication between Eurostar and Tunnel operator Eurotunnel needs to be radically improved.

Garnett and Gressier made three main recommendations - which Eurostar has already indicated it will accept.

"First, passengers need to be assured that the Eurostar trains are reliable and so improvements need to be made in this area as a priority," they said.

"Second, if a train breaks down and passengers have to be rescued or evacuated, this must be done with greater speed and consideration, and more comprehensive emergency plans should be put in place.

"Third, in an emergency, passengers need to have prompt information and regular updates. Eurostar must improve the way it communicates with passengers and put in place new systems and practices to achieve that."
Read more on:    eurostar  |  weather  |  chunnel breakdowns
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.