Eurostar Breakdown Adds to Problems

21 February 2010 (Last Updated February 21st, 2010 18:30)

Eurostar's woes continued yesterday after 740 passengers were left stranded following a train from Paris breaking down just outside Ashford, Kent. The problem was blamed on a major technical problem and a full investigation is now underway. Reports from passengers suggest th

Eurostar's woes continued yesterday after 740 passengers were left stranded following a train from Paris breaking down just outside Ashford, Kent.

The problem was blamed on a major technical problem and a full investigation is now underway.

Reports from passengers suggest that lights, air conditioning and toilets failed with a replacement train taking over an hour to arrive.

Passengers were given food and drink when they eventually arrived in London at 2.30am this morning, four and a half hours after it had been due to arrive.

The train had been delayed by an hour in Paris after an unattended bag caused a security alert.

Passengers have been offered a refund and a free return trip as compensation.

This latest mishap follows a week when the international train provider was forced to cancel trains from London to Brussels after last Monday's fatal train crash.

Services were delayed by up to an hour this morning as Eurostar struggled to cope with last week's backlog of passengers. Travellers are being warned that services will remain disrupted until at least 2 March.

Limited direct trains to Brussels have resumed on a diverted route, while the shuttle bus system is still in place between Lille and the Belgian capital.

Earlier this year Eurostar was heavily criticised over its failure to cope with the snowy conditions, which saw passengers stranded on trains and several services cancelled.

Around 2,500 people were said to have been stranded on trains for over five hours in December with another 100,000 facing major delays.