February 29, 2024

Flooding in the major rail tunnel under the River Thames has caused widespread train cancellations in western Europe, disrupting New Year’s Eve plans for many travelers. Eurostar, the high-speed rail line connecting several countries, was forced to cancel 41 trains to and from London, leaving hundreds stranded. The Southeastern Railway’s high-speed services were also affected. Engineers working on the tunnels described the amount of water as “unprecedented.” This is the second major travel disruption for Eurostar in the past 10 days, following a strike by French workers right before Christmas. The UK was also hit by strong winds and heavy rain from Storm Gerrit over the holidays, with more stormy weather and travel disruptions expected during the last weekend of the year. Travelers from around the world, including the US and Australia, were left scrambling to find last-minute accommodations and alternate plans. Eurostar issued an apology for the unforeseen issues and the travel chaos that resulted. Despite efforts to reduce the water levels, the flooding continues to cause travel disruptions, and the situation is expected to persist.

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