Eurostar is to launch an investigation after more than 740 passengers were stranded in the dark for more than an hour when their train broke down in one of its tunnels last night.
The service ground to a halt just five minutes from Ashford at about 10.45pm on Sunday, Februay 21, leaving passengers stuck in the dark with temperatures rapidly rising.
Passengers then had to make their way along the tracks before boarding a replacement train which arrived an hour later and which took them to St Pancras station.
The original departure from Paris had already been delayed due to a baggage alert. Passengers eventually arrived in London at about 2.30am, compared with a scheduled arrival time of 9.59pm.
A spokesman for Eurostar, which came under fire in December when more than 2,400 customers suffered long delays and stoppages caused by the wintry conditions, apologised for last night’s incident and said an inquiry had been launched.
He said the rail operator was not expecting any delays to today’s London-Paris services as a result of last night’s problem and that customers should check in as normal.
Meanwhile, a reduced London-Brussels service is also resuming today following last week’s crash between two Belgian trains which killed 18 people.
Services may also be disrupted on Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27, when up to 70 drivers and 20 on-board staff from the UK plan to walk out in a row over pay and conditions. Eurostar has claimed its service will not be disrupted as overseas staff will be brought in to cover any gaps.