TRANSPORT

Channel Tunnel soon back to full capacity

The Channel Tunnel will return to full capacity on February 10, the Eurotunnel operator announced. The tunnel has been undergoing repair works since a fire broke out on September 11 aboard a shuttle train carrying trucks from Britain to France.

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AFP - The rail tunnel under the Channel linking Britain and France will be back at full capacity on February 9-10 after work to repair damage caused by a fire late last year is completed, operator Eurotunnel said on Monday.

"The Channel Tunnel will be back at full capacity overnight February 9-10," the company, which built and operates the tunnel infrastructure, said in a statement.

Eurostar, the company that operates the trains running through the tunnel, said services will be fully restored on February 23.

Fire broke out on September 11 aboard a shuttle train carrying 27 trucks from Britain to France. Since then, both cross-Channel freight and Eurostar passenger trains from London to Paris and Brussels have been disrupted.

In December, the company estimated the cost of the repair work at between 50 and 60 million euros, with overall operating losses put at 100 to 110 million euros.

Officials said soon after the incident that they suspected the fire started in a truck's braking system that overheated and spread to a tyre.

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