6,000 people in seven hour 1.2 mile queue causes chaos for Eurostar

Eurostar Queues

Eurostar Queues

The channel tunnel was thrown into disarray today as thousands of people formed giant queues and were forced to wait up to seven hours for the Eurostar today.

It is said that the police have now closed the queue and are being forced to turn passengers away, after the freezing weather conditions have caused speed restrictions to the services and some cancellations have also been announced.

An estimated 6,000 passengers have withstood the freezing temperatures as queues stretched out of the terminal and through the streets for an estimated length of 1.2 miles.

This evening people who have been queuing for up to five hours have now been told to go home and the service will re-open at 3am.

The British Transport police began turning away people joining the queue as early as 12:30pm as new arrivals were said to have no hope of getting on a train today.

Hundreds of thousands of commuters were also forced to take other methods of transport after the rail network nationwide faced massive disruptions.

The Salvation Army set up a tea van outside the main entrance to the station to provide hot drinks to passengers who have been queuing for hours in -3C conditions.

Eurostar staff said the service was operating on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and warned passengers not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

A spokesman said: ‘We are running and that’s what counts. But due to the severe disruption we have experienced today we have a number of trains and crew out of position. We expect ongoing weather conditions to result in speed restrictions and delays on our routes.’

Onlookers said disabled passengers were being escorted to the trains directly, but many people in their sixties and seventies — mainly parents travelling to spend Christmas with their children — are being left waiting in the queue.

Advice on the company’s website said: ‘If you hold a booking leaving London St Pancras or Paris Nord today and are not already at the station, please do not travel to the station as unfortunately we are not able to accept any more passengers for travel today.

‘We will provide advice later this afternoon about travel tomorrow.

‘If you hold a booking leaving Brussels, please check-in one hour before your service is due to depart and you will be put on the next available train.

Comments & Debate

  1. December 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm Keith Greenough Commented:

    Eurostar have been absolutely hopeless at keeping ticket holders informed or advised of when trains will be actually departing. Eventually they provided warm tea & coffee to people but all too late. At least the Salvos were giving out free cuppas from early morning. A public relations disaster EuroStar!!

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