Eurotunnel services have resumed but customers are told to expect delays following the lorry fire which left thousands of passengers stranded on either side of the Channel.
All passenger services and the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle car service were halted after the vehicle caught fire at the French end of the underground railway’s south tunnel yesterday.
Large queues built up at St Pancras station, Eurostar’s London terminus, as services were cancelled following the fire, and similar scenes were reported in Paris, with many holidaymakers forced to look for alternative transport or hotels.
A Eurotunnel spokesman said on Twitter: “Our passenger service is currently operating to schedule with up to two departures per hour. We wish you a pleasant crossing with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.”
Empty trains were sent through the tunnel to ensure it was clear and customers were being offered transfers to ferries until the service recommenced, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, passenger service Eurostar said it planned to run a full service today “for passengers who have an existing reservation for this date”, but trains are expected to be delayed by between 30 and 60 minutes because only one tunnel will be open.
It added that people whose trains were cancelled yesterday were advised not to arrive at stations unless they had already been re-booked.
A spokesman said today: “Eurostar will be running a near to normal service and we advise to check in as normal. Delays may be expected between 30 and 60 minutes.”
Advice from the firm last night said: “If you were on a cancelled train today and need to travel urgently tomorrow, please call our contact centre on 03432 186 186 after 8am GMT tomorrow and we will try to re-book you on a service departing after 12pm GMT.
“We would strongly advise passengers whose journeys were impacted today by the problems in Eurotunnel not to come to our stations unless they have re-booked through our contact centre.”
The firm also tweeted: “Our apologies once again to all those affected by the Tunnel disruption.”
Of the fire, the spokesman added: “There was a smouldering load on board a truck we were carrying on board one of our shuttles.”
He said firefighters were examining the site in the north tunnel for damage, adding: “It doesn’t look like anything significant at this stage.”
Despite saying it hoped to run a full service today, it later told passengers on Twitter that it would be running a reduced service.