A breakdown in the Eurotunnel is causing an expected six-hour delay. Customers have been asked to postpone their travel arrangements if they are unessential, and allow time for the blockage in the tunnel to be cleared.
The broken down train led to over 300 passengers, along with four dogs, having to be evacuated from the Channel Tunnel. They were on their way to France, and had to be transported to the other tunnel, which was unblocked, to get the rest of the way. They were only 7.5 miles into the journey, which is 30 miles long, at the time, but are now all in France. They do have to wait as all their luggage was on the train. It is unknown how long they will have to wait for until the train is fixed.
The Eurotunnel is an extremely popular way to get between the United Kingdom and France. It reduces the journey from a little over an hour to just 35 minutes. However, the ferry from Dover to Calais is still a relatively popular option. The main benefit is that people get straight from motorway to motorway, and there are now restrictions on luggage. Larger families can also travel for the same price as smaller ones, as a ticket is needed for the car rather than number of passengers. Up to nine people are covered under one ticket in one vehicle.
However, people are currently facing six-hour delays caused by a breakdown in the Eurotunnel. Passengers are encouraged to avoid travelling if they can, or look for alternate routes if they do not want to wait.
The broken down vehicle is now moving, but it is slow. The queues are expected for the rest of the day, but should be back to normal tomorrow.
The worry for many is how this will affect the Tour de France. For the first time, the bicycle race started in Yorkshire, UK and has travelled down England to the Eurotunnel. The cyclists were supposed to use the Channel Tunnel, often shortened to Chunnel, to get across to France where they will finish the race. Delays for the cyclists are expected, which will disrupt their own timings.
Passengers have explained the events, mentioning a crashing sound. While it was not the train crashing, it seems to have been the cable lines that were tangled and crashed onto something. An electrical fault is being blamed for the breakdown. The passengers were left on the train for 20 minutes wondering why their journey had come to a sudden halt. It seems the crew tried to get the train out of the mess of cables, but soon realized that the passengers needed to be evacuated.
The issue for the passengers now in France is when they will receive their belongings. While they understand the fault is not with the operators, the communication could have been better. Everything they are hearing is word of mouth, rather than anything official from members of staff. In fact, all anyone is being told is that there could be up to six-hour delays on the Eurotunnel due to the broken down train.
By Alexandria Ingham