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  1. Tom Savvides

Eurostar staff to strike for seven days

Eurostar workers will walk out in two separate strikes in a dispute over working hours and shift patterns. The first strike, lasting four days, will begin on Friday 12th August. Tom Savvides has the details.


Delays at Channel Tunnel in Folkestone up to 6 and a half hours - power supply problem now fixed

Passengers in queues at the Channel Tunnel in Folkestone Credit: Facebook - Sarah Dacombe

There is a waiting time of up to six hours and 30 minutes to the Freight Eurotunnel service at Folkestone, and severe delays on the rest of the line due to an earlier broken down train and an earlier technical fault in the Tunnel which has now been resolved.

Passengers are facing a 90 minute wait for Check In and a further 5 hour wait on the Channel Tunnel Terminal.

On its website Eurostar said that its trains were currently delayed due to infrastructure problems in the Channel Tunnel.

Power supply problems - up to 5 hour wait on Eurotunnel and Eurostar services at Channel Tunnel

What next for Eurostar? Passengers up, revenue down

Eurostar train in a terminal - the firm's trains travel between the UK and the continent

The boss of Eurostar today condemned angry protests over recent weekends at St Pancras - in support of the Calais migrants - which are aimed at disrupting services.

Protesters at St Pancras railway station in London last week

Eurostar's Chief Executive, Nicolas Petrovic, says the protestors intimidated rail passengers - and it was wrong to target the company. Speaking to ITV Meridian, Mr Petrovic apologised for the recent disruption, and said the French and British Governments must work together to find a solution to secure the tracks.

The company said revenue is down - even though passenger numbers are up. Here's our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

Driver talks of chaos at Calais as migrants try to get into his car

Colin Evans from Gillingham describes the moments migrants at Calais ferry port tried to get into UK-bound lorries and his car. His wife filmed the events on her mobile phone.


Tweets confirm Eurotunnel closure

Eurostar hit by cross-channel power failure

Hundreds of Eurostar passengers were stuck on trains for hours overnight after an overhead cable problem.

The problem, at Lille in northern France, affected nearly 700 passengers travelling on yesterday's 6.01pm London to ParisEurostar service as well as around 600 who were on the 6.04pm London to Brussels train.

After not moving for many hours, the passengers were only able to complete their journey when diesel trains arrived to tow the stricken trains to their destinations.

A Eurostar spokesman said the Paris train had finally arrived six hours late, while the Brussels train had got in nine hours late.

The spokesman went on: "There was a failure of the overhead power line just outside Lille.

"The passengers on the Brussels train are entitled to twice the amount of a complete refund plus a free return trip, while those on the Paris train can claim an entire refund plus a free return trip."

Exclusive report: Eurostar celebrates 20th anniversary

Exactly 20 years ago the first Eurostar train, carrying passengers, sped through Kent from London to Paris. Eurostar has been a major success now carrying four out of five passengers from the South East to Paris.

But there have also been major problems. Broken down trains in the tunnel left thousands stranded. For all of its history our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has covered Eurostar, in good times and bad. He's been given exclusive access to talk to staff and the man in charge.

Eurostar number up

Credit: P.A.

The number of passengers taking Eurostar services through the Channel Tunnel increased this summer.

The high-speed train company carried 2.8 million passengers in summer 2014 (July to September) - a 3% rise on the summer 2013 total of 2.7 million.

Sales revenue for July to September 2014 rose 2% - going up from £207 million in summer 2013 to £211 million in summer 2014.

This is the 10th successive year of growth in passengers and sales revenue for Eurostar which celebrates its 20th anniversary next month.

In May 2015, the company is launching a new all-year-round service direct from London to Provence in southern France, stopping at Lyon, Avignon and Marseille.

Tickets go on sale in early December 2014.

Then in 2016 Eurostar starts a direct service from London to Amsterdam.

Before then, Eurostar will be unveiling on November 13 - the eve of its 20th anniversary - its new e320 trains which will be capable of carrying 900 passengers and reach speeds of 200mph. They will enter service next year.

The UK Government is seeking buyers for its 40% stake in Eurostar - a move criticised by Labour and rail unions.

"After 20 years of leading the way in cross-Channel high-speed rail travel our sights are now set on expanding further afield and making rail the obvious choice for short-haul travel."

– Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar
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