Long delays for Eurostar passengers as French workers carry out heatwave repairs
Passengers travelling on the Eurostar between Paris and London suffered long delays after a power cut disrupted services.
All arrivals and departures from Gard du Nord in the French capital were temporarily halted on Friday morning as workers fixed an overhead cable which was damaged in the extreme weather.
When services resumed shortly after midday, all were heavily delayed.
Eurostar urged those queuing to delay their travel and seek a refund if the journey was not absolutely necessary.
Passengers on the 12.13 service from Gare du Nord to St Pancras International were delayed for an hour and 35 minutes.
Some elderly people and families with children were able to board an earlier service with spare seats, and escape the increasingly hot and crowded departure lounge.
Eloise Thomas, from Paris, was travelling to visit her son, who is living in London.
The 68-year-old said: “I have been waiting some hours, and every hour that goes by is another hour I cannot spend with my son. I am only in England for the weekend. I return on Sunday.
“They let some elderly and families board earlier. They did not have enough spaces for me. Although I was hesitant to ask for a ticket for the elderly. Some people looked needy, or needier.”
Simon Miller, 42, from Uxbridge, west London, was returning home after travelling to Paris on Wednesday for work.
He said: “We must have waited for over two hours, although it felt like longer, really.
“The conditions were sweltering. It became very crowded as people keep on arriving for their trains. They were jostling and getting close together.
“To be fair to them, they dealt with us well, kept us aware, stopped us from bunching up and overheating. They did a good job.”
On its website, Eurostar asked those who did choose to travel to arrive at the time specified on their ticket but to prepare for delays.