Channel Tunnel traffic resumes after power shutdown

Passengers look at an information board as they wait for a train at the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris on Oct 18, 2016, after traffic through the Channel tunnel between France and Britain was stopped in both directions due to a power problem.
Passengers look at an information board as they wait for a train at the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris on Oct 18, 2016, after traffic through the Channel tunnel between France and Britain was stopped in both directions due to a power problem.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Traffic through the Channel Tunnel between France and Britain was stopped in both directions for almost five hours on Tuesday (Oct 18) after a power problem, before resuming mid-evening, managers said, adding that 17 trains had to be cancelled.

Both Eurostar passenger trains and Eurotunnel services, transporting cars and trucks through the tunnel, were suspended from around 1300 GMT to 1730 GMT, a Eurostar spokeswoman said.

"The two tunnels are now operating. Work finished around 6.30pm and services are now resuming," a Eurotunnel spokeswoman added.

No Eurostar or Eurotunnel trains were inside the tunnel when the stoppage began, a Eurotunnel spokesman said, adding traffic had been suspended "as a safety measure" owing to "concern about electrical power between an overhead power line and the trains".

Eurotunnel teams were despatched to inspect the electrical equipment inside the tunnel, used by some 20 million people a year.

The stoppage forced the cancellation of five Paris to London services, four in the opposite direction and eight more travelling between London and Brussels.

After the service resumed, a Eurostar spokeswoman said operations were "gradually returning to normal."

French singer Renaud was forced to cancel a concert in London after he was stuck in Paris his Facebook page announced.