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‘Unprecedented’ tunnel flooding halts travel in London area

by Staff

New Year’s Eve plans are in peril for many in western Europe after widespread train cancellations due to flooding of a major rail tunnel that runs under the River Thames.

Eurostar, the region’s high-speed rail line that connects Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, was forced to cancel all 41 trains scheduled for Saturday in and out of London, leaving hundreds stranded at London’s St. Pancras station.

Travelers from the US and Australia and beyond packed London’s St. Pancras International station and the Gare du Nord station in Paris as they scrambled to find last-minute accommodations and alternate plans.

All Southeastern Railway’s high-speed services that use the same line were also canceled, according to the BBC.

Hundreds of people packed train stations in London after widespread cancellations due to tunnel flooding. AP
Holiday travel plans of hundreds of people were upended Saturday after Eurostar canceled train services to and from London. AFP via Getty Images

Engineers working on the tunnels said the water levels were reducing as of Saturday but called the amount of water “unprecedented.”

Eurostar said it was “extremely sorry for the unforeseen issues.”

The travel chaos marked the second major travel disruption for Eurostar in the past 10 days — a last-minute strike by French workers halted trains right before Christmas, causing holiday travel chaos then, too.

Engineers called the flooding levels in the tunnels under the River Thames “unprecedented.” AP

The UK was also battered by strong winds and heavy rain from Storm Gerrit over the holidays and more stormy weather and travel disruptions are expected during the last weekend of the year, too.

With Post Wires

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