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Eurostar goes tits up again

Train stuck in tunnel

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Remember the five Eurostar trains that broke down in the channel tunnel because snow got into the electrics and melted? A train has got stuck in the tunnel again.

Eurostar had claimed its engineers had fixed the problem by improving the shielding of the electronics from snow-laden air coming in through the engine inlet vents. This may not have been sufficently well done.

It's reported that around 240 luckless passengers on a London-bound Eurostar train from Brussels, that passed through a snowstorm in northern France, got stuck in the tunnel this morning when it broke down again around 9am. Eurostar is not saying why it broke down, with on-board signalling problems suggested by one source. It may well be though that it was the wrong sort of snow - again.

After a two-hour wait a Eurotunnel rescue locomotive towed the stricken Eurostar to Ashford from where the passengers were taken to London on a different train. Eurostar subsequently restricted services so that only one train at a time was in the tunnel, recognising the limitations of Eurotunnel's twin rescue locomotive service. Three Eurostar trains waiting to enter the tunnel in France were turned back after being affected by ice.

Eurostar services are going to be restricted for several days. If it turns out that incoming snow through the air vents melted and shorted out the electrics again then the competence of Eurostar's engineers and management will be called into question: they said the problem was fixed shortly after December's five train failure fiasco. ®

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