Channel Tunnel Carries Significant Traffic Despite Reduced Service
Repairs to 800m of the overhead catenary in interval 2 of the north running tunnel of the Channel Tunnel have now been successfully completed and the Tunnel is once again operating a full service for all its customers.
Yesterday morning, as a result of a catenary issue, a Passenger Shuttle was stopped in interval 2 of the Channel Tunnel. Following Eurotunnel’s well-rehearsed safety procedures, the train was inspected and the decision taken that, as it could not easily proceed under its own power, customers should be transferred via the service tunnel into a Passenger Shuttle in the south Tunnel to continue their journey to France. The transfer was completed in a calm, safe and timely manner. On arrival on the French platforms the passengers were met by Eurotunnel’s customer service staff and taken by bus to the Charles Dickens passenger terminal, in Coquelles, where hot drinks and food were waiting for them. Eurotunnel’s customer services staff then helped them with their onward travel arrangements.
Some 1000 vehicles have been transferred to MyFerryLink, who put on extra services to cope with the additional traffic. This is clear evidence that the recent decision by the CMA to ban MyFerryLink from operating out of Dover is contrary to the efficient management of such cross-Channel incidents.
The incident Shuttle was driven from the site by a diesel locomotive and brought to the platform in France, where customers were reunited with their vehicles to continue their onward journeys.
Once the incident shuttle had been removed, the Eurotunnel works train entered the tunnel and an army of highly trained and skilled technicians began the work of repairing the damage to the catenary and its supports. This work took nearly (24) hours and was completed safely and successfully today. Eurotunnel would like to underline that although the thorough inspection of the tunnel during and after the incident generated delays, it was nevertheless essential to ensure the highest levels of safety for our customers.
Throughout the incident and the repairs, the Channel Tunnel remained open and operated in Single Line Working, with flights of departures being sent alternately through the single line section in interval 1 (opposite interval 2).
Even with a reduced service, traffic levels remained very high: 4,860 passenger vehicles and 2284 trucks, 51 Eurostars and 6 freight trains were transported through the tunnel yesterday.
Eurotunnel invests around €110 million each year in maintaining and improving its infrastructure and training its staff to ensure the total safety and comfort of its customers.
Customer Experience Director, Yves Szrama, stated: “We apologise to our customers for any disruption that the events yesterday may have caused. The safety of the passengers is always our first concern. Once that is assured, we want them to be comfortable, well informed and well looked after. The recent installation of mobile telephone services inside the Tunnel helped us keep our customers informed during the incident”.