Saturday, December 19, 2009

No excuse for passengers getting trapped in Chunnel

"Nightmare journey through Channel Tunnel for 2,000 rail passengers, trapped without light, heat, food, water – or information"

The passengers in the halted trains were in no danger, Eurostar spokesman Grant Smith told the BBC earlier. He admitted, however, that they must be "very uncomfortable" while adding that the trains had battery-driven emergency lighting so they were not sitting in the dark. [Rather, they shouldn't have been in the dark - but why are there reports that they were?]

"Eurotunnel shuttles, Eurostar and national freight trains run in the two single track and single direction tunnels. These are connected to a central service tunnel by cross-passages situated every 375m. The service tunnel allows access to maintenance and emergency rescue teams and serves as a safe haven if passengers need to be evacuated in an incident. The service tunnel is a road tunnel used by electric and diesel-powered vehicles. Air pressure is higher in the service tunnel to prevent the ingress of smoke in case of a fire in one of the rail tunnels."

So, this incident stinks to high heaven of being deliberate (perhaps to turn people off toward rail development), with perhaps some SRA thrown into the mix. There has been no official comment other than to say there will be an investigation, which means "cover-up." So much for the supposed benefits of privatization.