Eurostar Cancels Trains, Sees Delays Because of Winter Weather

Eurostar Group Ltd. said its Channel Tunnel rail passenger services suffered cancellations and delays of up to 90 minutes today as snow and freezing temperatures continued to disrupt traffic.

The operator of the rail link between the U.K. and continental Europe canceled 10 trains today and seven tomorrow, according to a schedule posted on its website that was unchanged from yesterday.

Unseasonably cold weather caused the biggest disruption to European air travel this week since the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in April. Eurostar has modified its schedule to avoid a repeat of last winter, when five trains carrying 2,000 people were stranded in the Channel Tunnel after snow disabled their electrics, leaving 90,000 more stuck at stations.

“Due to the current weather conditions, Eurostar will be operating a significantly reduced timetable,” the train operator said today. “In addition, Eurostar services will be subject to delays of up to 90 minutes.”

The U.K. Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for most of the country today. Overnight rain and snow has caused “widespread icy surfaces” across much of the U.K., and that will likely happen again tonight, the forecaster said.

Eurostar said no more tickets are available until the morning of Dec. 6 “at the earliest” and that passengers should only come to stations if they already have their ticket. The company said it’s offering free exchanges or refunds.

“We are strongly advising customers booked for travel until Sunday to postpone their journey if it is not essential,” Eurostar said. The company yesterday scrapped 17 services, six fewer than the day before.

Cancelled Services

For today, three services are canceled in each direction between London and Paris and two each way between the U.K. capital and Brussels, according to Eurostar’s website. On Dec. 5, two services each way between London and Brussels will be cut, together with one from the U.K. capital to Paris, and two in the other direction.

Eurostar has slashed services after cutting speed limits from 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph) to as little as 160 kilometers per hour.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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