Eurostar back to normal after tunnel fire

Contributed by editor on Feb 23, 2009 - 10:52 AM

High speed cross channel train operator Eurostar has reintroduced a full timetable today (23 February) following repairs to the fire damaged Channel Tunnel.

Up to 19 trains per day from London to Paris and 10 a day to Brussels will be operated by the company.

Typical journey times are London to Paris two hours 15 minutes and London to Brussels two hours. A new direct service from Ashford to Brussels, delayed from December because of September's fire, has been launched.

Eurostar was forced to introduce a series of emergency timetables after a fire in September 2008 in the Channel Tunnel. A section of the tunnel known as Interval 6 was damaged causing all services to stop for two days before one of the two tunnels was reopened.

According to French police the blaze took more than 16 hours to extinguish and was detected just before 1500 on Thursday 11 September on board a Eurotunnel Shuttle.

The fire is believed to have started on a truck carrying the toxic chemical Phenol. Thirty-two people who were on board the shuttle were evacuated into the central service tunnel with 14 suffering minor injuries, including smoke inhalation.