Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Vandals cause huge Eurostar backlog

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-08

Thousands of passengers have been left waiting on station platforms after vandals threw concrete blocks onto electricity lines on the high-speed routes. Trains have been diverted to slower lines until the damage is repaired.

Acts of vandalism caused lengthy delays to Eurostar and other high-speed train services between Paris and the northern city of Lille, the French state railway SNCF said.
   
Some 40 trains serving Britain through the Channel tunnel as well as northern France and Belgium were delayed, leaving thousands of people waiting for up to three hours at Paris's Gare du Nord station.
   
Rail officials said trains had had to be diverted from the dedicated high speed line to ordinary track with lower speed restrictions in both directions after reinforced concrete blocks were thrown on to the overhead electric wires in two places.
   
The discovery of the body of a man who had apparently been hit by a train on a stretch of the ordinary line in the northern Paris suburbs further complicated the situation.
   
One TGV high-speed train, which left Lille at 6:25 am (0525 GMT) for Toulouse in southern France, was stranded for three hours with 350 passengers on board before the current was restored.
   
SNCF said services should be back to normal by later in the day.
   
Company head Guillaume Pepy said on French television that he was "very, very angry" after what he said was the fourth incident of "malevolence, if not sabotage" in three weeks.
   
He said the company would step up its surveillance of the system and react more swiftly when incidents occurred.
   
Transport minister Dominique Bussereau condemned the acts of vandalism and called for those responsible to be caught. He also urged that monitoring of rail infrastructure be stepped up.
   
The latest incident came a week after TGV services to western France were disrupted for up to six hours in the Paris region when gunshots were blamed for a broken catenary, or overhead wire.
   
Bussereau said then that the disruptions were "unacceptable" and called on Pepy "to decide without further delay what measures he plans to take in the short and medium term."
   
Last month SNCF estimated that it needed to invest 400 million euros (508 million dollars) over four years to renovate the catenaries on its rail network as some are very worn out, according to an audit conducted in September.
   
In mid-September a fire on a freight train in the Channel Tunnel badly hit the Eurostar service for a weekend.
 

Date created : 2008-11-08

COMMENT(S)