Eurostar services in and out of London’s St Pancras International train station have been brought to a standstill after signalling problems in the Eurotunnel.
The high-speed train service between London and Paris was suspended for roughly three hours between 3.15pm and 6.15pm.
A spokesman for Eurostar confirmed at least 10 trains from London, Paris and Brussels had been cancelled and virtually all services were expecting severe delays.
Some travellers who have had their trains cancelled will be forced to stay in their departure destination overnight, although Eurostar said they will pay for customers to stay in hotels overnight and travel in the morning, as well as a £50 voucher for food.
Yet the refund system used by Eurostar had crashed after hundreds of people tried to log on or rebook their travel at the same time.
One woman stuck in Paris told MailOnline that when she finally managed to log on and rebook train tickets from Gard du Nord to London that nearly all trains had already been fully booked.
A spokesman for Eurostar confirmed if people had connecting trains which they missed due to the signal failure, it is company policy to refund the value of that ticket or buy them tickets for the same mode of transport at the next available point.
Yet passengers who missed flights due to the signal failure will be left out of pocket as the firm does not cover flights.
Eurostar services in and out of London and Paris have been affected by the signalling failure
At least 10 trains had been cancelled from London, Paris and Brussels with many others delayed
A passenger who commutes regularly from Paris Du Nord station to St Pancras told MailOnline that travellers marooned at the station had been given no information about the delays.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told MailOnline: ‘We can’t get online here and we have not been given any information about when we can travel.
‘Staff here won’t talk to us and we have no information about what will happen tomorrow. We have not been told what might happen tomorrow.
‘The first train is at 7.30am tomorrow but we have to come and queue at around 5am.’
She added that roughly four or five trains from Paris had been cancelled.
To add to the confusion, Eurostar’s website urged passengers who were set to travel on the ES9152, ES9158, ES9046, ES9050, ES9054 to book hotels as their trains had been cancelled – yet their website said they had either departed or were ontime.
Passngers at Paris’ Gard du Nord station had been given no water throughout news of the delays
Trains from St Pancras to Paris and Brussels were facing delays after a signal failure
Sarah Martin, who travelled from Paris to St Pancras, said she was held in Calais for longer than two hours.
Ms Martin told MailOnline: ‘It was awful. For a long time there was no word on why we weren’t moving. Then an announcement came on that it was due to signal faults. The train ahead of us in the tunnel was brought back and say along side us. The train behind us then pulled up.
‘We were all there just waiting with no clue as to how long we were going to be stuck in the train. There were kids literally screaming the place down. Don’t get me wrong I don’t blame them. I was near to joining them! It was freezing cold in some carriages and boiling hot in others.
‘The toilets became disgusting after a short time and toilet roll wasn’t in any I went to. My friend who was seated in another carriage was given free water and snacks. My carriage was left to fend for themselves in the epic drinks carriage queue. Once we pulled off there was a sigh of relief.
‘The scenes in St Pancras were horrific. So many people were confused on what to do next. I fought through the crowds and headed for the taxi rank. Can’t wait to get home. Get my feet up and forget the whole thing.’
Another person told MailOnline: ‘My partner should be arriving in Brussels but her train was cancelled and we cannot contact anyone to get rebooked for tomorrow. The worst thing is the rebooking service online doesn’t work, and doesn’t show any rebooking dates.
‘They’ve left her completely stranded. She’s even considering booking a new ticket for tomorrow, but that will cost her well over £100.’
Eurostar tweeted to let passengers know which services were cancelled yet their website contradicted their tweet, showing services had either departed or were on time (see picture below)
A list of the Eurostar services which had departed or were ontime – despite their Twitter feed stating otherwise
Travellers have taken to Twitter to complain about the lack of information they have received from the service and while others hopeful of getting away for the weekend have posted images of arrival and departures boards showing huge delays.
One person tweeted: ‘Please. There is someone I haven’t seen in 5 years in Paris. He’s exhibiting at fashion week. It’s kind of a big deal. I’m so disappointed.’
Elliott Champault said: ‘@Eurostar next time you cancel, just tell us it is our fault. Probably a better way to handle YOUR f*** ups.’
There was travel chaos at Paris’ Nord du Gard station too, as trains were cancelled and faced a series of delays
According to one person who talked to MailOnline, at least four or five trains had been cancelled