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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Monday, December 01, 2008

Eurostar Ordeal...

Marcus and I went to Paris for the weekend. Only what was meant to be a pleasant trip was marred by a fault on our Eurostar train. Almost half way through the channel tunnel it broke down losing all power. The battery onboard (you mean they only have one?) then ran out and we were then plunged into total darkness. Trapped under the sea for almost three hours. The temperature and carbon dioxide levels rose rapidly and many people where in a panic. We couldn't open the windows or the doors, there were no announcements, no Eurostar staff to tell us that help was on the way, no water, no nothing. Not even International Rescue. Eventually we were towed out to the French side and transferred onto another train at Calais. Five hours late we rolled into Gard Du Nord. Waiting for us was a media scrum where I gave an interview to the television cameras telling them what an ordeal we'd had.

(All CET)
10:40 Left St Pancras
11:55 Breakdown mid-tunnel
12:35 Air con fails. Lights fail. No announcements. Heat rises. CO2 levels rise. Can't open windows or doors.
13:55 Moving again slowly
14:40 Train finally out of tunnel
15:25 Still no air con. No power. No announcements. Towed into station
15:45 First door forced open - hanging roof panel exposes wires
15:50 Policeman finally tells us we will be detrained then go to to Lille then Paris
16:15 Detrained with the army and many police officers in attendance just in case anyone felt like making their dissatisfaction known
16:40 Train sets off for Lille. No bar service or food. They could have told us so we could have bought things at station!
16:55 Announcement about free ticket compensation and free emergency rations to be made available.
17:15 Arrive Lille
17:25 Announcement that we'll be in Paris at 18:25
18:25 Arrived Paris Gard De Nord. Gave press interview.

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:03 pm

    I hope you are demanding a refund and compensation!!!

    Its the very least they owe you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. scaffoldr6:22 pm

    I empathise
    I was on a Eurostar that broke down coming back from Paris once. Stopping just outside Gare du Nord, it STILL took 4 hours to get us back into the station and back out again.
    When it's good it's good but when it's bad......

    Bit of a Non Voyage ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I won't get a refund - the journey was a freebie for the Integrated Volume Testing I took part in last year. I might get another free trip though! Will I take it though?

    I agree with you scaffoldr... when it's good it's good but when it's bad...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jesus F. Christ, I almost had a panic attack just READING that....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, it was pretty hairy. When things go wrong they can go really wrong, really quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous12:03 pm

    Is Detrained actually a word?

    On a TV prog the other night - some american guy said "Lawyering"

    That isnt a word!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it was just Eurostar-speak. Imagine it with a heavy French accent "detraining"!

    ReplyDelete