die belebende Bedenkung

Stranded in the dark

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No light or information

No light or information

More than a thousand rail passengers were left stranded for up to eight hours aboard two Eurostar trains last night after a power cut in northern France, Mail Online reported.

[“More than 1,300 Eurostar passengers stuck in the dark for NINE HOURS after power cut leaves them stranded on train from London to Brussels”, MO, 21 Nov 2014]

Furious travellers said they were left in pitch darkness with no fresh air or flushing toilets after a power cable snapped above a section of track between Lille and Calais.

One train travelling from London to Brussels with 600 passengers on board was held up from 8pm until 4.40am at which point a diesel-powered train finally arrived to move it on.
A spokesman for Eurostar admitted the passengers would have been left in the dark while the trains were stranded as they are completely dependent on power from the overhead lines and carry no emergency back-up.
There have been a number of breakdowns on the cross-Channel service over the year, with the run up to Christmas 2009 being particularly disastrous.

In late September of that year overhead power line dropped on to a train arriving at St Pancras station in London, activating a circuit breaker and delaying 11 other trains.

Two days later power was lost on a section of line outside Lille, delaying passengers on two evening Eurostars.

Then, during heavy snow in December 2009, four trains broke down inside the Channel Tunnel after leaving France, affecting some 2,000 passengers.

The incident is a reminder of the need to consider ‘bad case’ scenarios at the design as well as the operating stage. So far as can be established, HS2 is not being designed as a resilient system. All the same, it’s surprising that it took so long to provide a rescue loco on the lightly used Calais — Lille track.

You can’t move a tee-gee
You can’t move a gee-vee without a spark
This gun’s for hire
even if we’re just stranded in the dark

[apologies to Bruce]


Written by beleben

November 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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