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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.
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Sunday, 20 December 2009
Eurostar Power Cars Source of Catastrophic Failure - Test Result
Eurostar Power Cars Source of Catastrophic Failure - Test Result and not our problem says Eurotunnel!
According to a Eurostar source the results of the test runs conducted on Sunday 20th December they have discovered a possible cause of the problems and also claim to have identified the type of modifications needed.
The Eurostar source claimed that acute weather conditions in N.France caused the catastrophic failure of the power cars - 2 on each 18 carriage train. Annually Eurostar carries out a ‘winterisation’ programme of the entire fleet which they say has worked until now although regular travellers talk of repeated 'transformer failures' throughout the year.
The Sunday test runs show that greatly improved snow screens and shields need to be installed in each of the two power cars which make up and are included in each train. Further test runs will be made on Monday and the results made known the same evening.
The Eurostar fleet consists of 28 inter-capital Class 373 trains, built by GEC Alsthom (now Alstom) and brought into service as early as November 1994. The Alstoms are nearing the end of their high speed life and due to be phased out; a new design ready by 2014.
Each train consists of two power cars and eighteen carriages, including six first class, 10 standard class and two buffet cars, and seats a total of 750 passengers.
The trains usually travel at speeds up to 186mph (300 km/h) – 50% faster than any domestic UK rail service. Since 1994, the Eurostar fleet has carried more than 95 million travellers and covered more than 75 million miles (120 million km).
Eurostar is an entirely separate business from Eurotunnel. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself.
Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer but you wouldn't believe it from the astonishingly arrogant news release one 'cheese eating surrender monkey' Pascal Sainson, Eurotunnel Operations Director sent out to the Worlds media, as their clients trains began to fail trapping 1000's of passengers inside the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel territory.
Read and weep.
Here is the EUROTUNNEL Press Release in full:
Eurotunnel rescues Eurostar
Overnight from Friday 18 to Saturday 19 December Eurotunnel staff went to the assistance of 5 Eurostar trains which had broken down in the Channel Tunnel, following technical failures. These incidents were in no way due to the Tunnel infrastructure.
• Rescued 5 Eurostar trains which had lost traction (Eurotunnel locomotives and Shuttles are prepared and maintained so that they are not affected by rapid temperature changes).
• Evacuated 1,364 Eurostar passengers and brought them to the surface in Folkestone, Kent using their own trains, where they were able to continue their journey to London
• Towed 2 Eurostars to St Pancras as Eurostar did not have the means to do so themselves
Pascal Sainson, Eurotunnel Operations Director, commented: "In very difficult conditions
Eurotunnel made the decision to assist the Eurostar trains and their passengers. In order to
conduct these operations in complete safety, Eurotunnel mobilised substantial extra staff and
technical resources and also made the decision to interrupt its own services. Eurotunnel has
done everything it can to resolve the situation".
Traffic in the Channel Tunnel has been progressively returning to normal since 05:40 CET this [Sunday]morning.
In anticipation of heavy traffic this weekend Eurotunnel had already instigated its BAR Programme (Busy And Ready). In particular a fleet of snow ploughs and road clearing vehicles has been operating to clear snow from the terminal in Coquelles, France to reduce the impact of the current severe weather in northern France.
Eurotunnel is however not responsible for the condition of the motorways.
Eurotunnel has put in place an organisation to help passengers to cross the Channel even if they arrive late at the departure terminal.
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Eurostar is the normally high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
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