Eurostar Criticised Over Christmas Chaos

12 February 2010, 13:31 | Updated: 12 February 2010, 14:48

A report's found Eurostar had no plan in place to deal with five broken down trains in the Channel Tunnel.

Snow got into the Eurostar trains' power cars after winter maintenance work had not been done properly, the report said.

Describing appalling conditions of heat and darkness for passengers who included pregnant mothers and children returning from Disneyland Paris, the report's authors said Eurostar had been "found wanting".

They added that the company had "no plan in place'' to deal with the breakdown of five trains in the tunnel on the night of December 18 and 19.

Making 21 recommendations, the report's authors said Eurotunnel had to improve its maintenance, its communication with passengers and its emergency procedures.

The report was compiled by former GNER East Coast Main Line rail boss Christopher Garnett and French transport expert Claude Gressier.

Mr Garnett said today: "Passengers must not go through this again.''

Following the publication of the report today, Eurostar said it had modified its trains and more work on them was being done. The company is also spending £12 million on a new communication system.

Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown said: "I know we let our passengers down before Christmas and I am determined to put things right."