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Tweets show St Pancras 'chaos' after Eurostar delays

Travelers at St Pancras station have posted pictures of the scene on Twitter, with some describing the situation with the hashtag #chaos.

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Love @eurostar -this disruption not their fault. But transport police don't know where Q starts @ #stpancras! #chaos http://t.co/chfcN2esG2

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Eurostar told ITV News that customers have a choice of re-booking and getting compensation, or of a full refund, as well as being reimbursed for reasonable resulting accommodation costs.

Long queues at St Pancras after 'severe' Eurostar delays

Hundreds of travelers are queuing and waiting at St Pancras after severe delays meant a backlog of Eurostar services.

A fatality in the Lille region and infrastructure problems in the Eurotunnel mean few customers will be able to travel today, a spokesperson for Eurostar told ITV News.

Video footage shows the scenes at St Pancras, where some queues appear to stretch much of the length of the station.

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'Severe delays' on Eurostar after fatality

There are "severe delays" on the Eurostar after a fatality and infrastructure problems in the Eurotunnel caused a backlog of trains.

Eurostar train
A spokesperson for Eurostar said that while they were not responsible for the causes, responsibility for passengers now rested with them. Credit: PA

Eurostar's twitter feed advises customers who are not currently at the station not to make their way there this evening, saying "we will be unable to accommodate you tonight".

It also says customers trying to contact them by phone could have to wait up to 20 minutes.

A fatality in the Lille region was followed by a technical hitch in the Channel Tunnel, resulting in a backlog of passengers on the tunnel's shuttles.

Eurostar say customers have a choice of re-booking their journey for free along with some compensation, or of getting a full refund for their journey.

They say they will also reimburse resulting accommodation costs.

Stuck trains 'have now reached their destination'

Pierre Delalande from Eurostar said four trains in and out of England were affected, but that three of those had now reached their destination of London, while one was forced to turn back to the capital.

Trains do not run during the night and a full service is expected to resume this morning.

Mr Delalande said:

Four trains were affected - two from Paris to London, one from Brussels to London and one from London to Paris.

The only one that didn't make it was London to Paris because of a delay after the lightning, so went back to London.

Customers were offered taxis and hotels where necessary, he added.

Meridian

Hundreds stuck on Eurostar after lightning strike

Passengers wait onboard the Eurostar Credit: @bneiluj

Eurostar has confirmed that a lightning strike close to the UK entrance of the Eurotunnel has set a building on fire. As standard procedure, Eurostar services have been stopped until the fire is brought under control. Fire services are at the scene, but the flames are not yet under control.

4 trains have been affected by the fire. 1 London to Paris train has turned around and been sent back to London. 2 Paris to London trains and a Brussels to London train are still being held at either end of the tunnel, but are said to be moving "soon". No trains are being held in the tunnel.

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Meridian

Firefighters tackle 5 substation fires as lightning strikes

5 substations are on fire after a lightning strike in Kent this evening Credit: ITV News Meridian

5 railway substations are on fire this evening after a lightning strike near Folkestone in Kent. Firefighters are tackling the flames along the line from Dover priory to Sandling station. Hundreds of passengers have faced long delays due to signalling problems since just after rush hour.

Details of Govt infrastructure investment

The Government will today raise the amount it expects to be invested in infrastructure projects in the UK from £309 billion last year to more than £375 billion.

Almost 300 of the 646 projects and programmes are already under construction.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander is expected to announce:

  • The building of the UK's first toll road in a decade is to be scrapped. The A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon will not introduce a fee for use after the improvement scheme, due to start in 2016, is completed.
  • The railway station at Gatwick Airport will receive £50 million for redevelopment.
  • A Government guarantee could support finance for the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey.
  • The tube's Northern Line £1 billion extension to Battersea in south west London will be guaranteed.
  • Improvements to the A50 around Uttoxeter in Staffordshire will start no later than 2015/16.
  • A £10 million competitive fund to open in early 2014 to test ways to deliver superfast broadband to remote areas of the UK.

Govt selling its Eurostar stake in wider asset sell-off

The Government is expected to announce plans to sell its 40% stake in the cross-channel Eurostar as part of a target to raise £20 billion through the privatisation of financial and corporate assets by 2020.

Eurostar
Eurostar is majority owned by French state rail firm, SCNF. Credit: PA

Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the treasury, will announce the Eurostar sale as part of a wider £375 billion investment programme to 2030 and beyond, called the new national infrastructure plan (NIP).

Last month Eurostar revealed it had seen an increase in revenues and passenger numbers compared with last summer.

Sales revenue for the period July-September 2013 reached £207 million - a 10% increase on the same period last year - and passenger numbers in summer 2013 rose 5% to 2.7 million.

P&O Ferries 'delighted' to help obese Frenchman

P&O Ferries said it was "delighted" to help an obese Frenchman stranded in London after Eurostar refused him entry on to a Paris-bound train.

Kevin Chenais, 22, was denied entry on to a Eurostar train as his lack of mobility would have breached strict safety regulations.

P&O Ferries said they were delighted to help Mr Chenais' in his bid to return home. Credit: PA Wire

The incident was the latest setback for Mr Chenais as he bids tor return home to eastern France, after British Airways originally refused to fly him home from America.

A P&O Ferries spokesman said: "We're delighted to help. It's not difficult for us. We are used to carrying ambulances across the Channel, so we are set up for this type of thing.

"It's difficult to imagine the frustration that this gentleman has gone through. But for us, it's very straight-forward as we are set up to carry people who have medical needs."

Read: Eurostar cannot ignore 'very strict' safety regulations

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