Just when you thought train travel was safe again


2,000 people stuck on four trains that stopped working in the Chunnel and left them stranded for up to 16 hours. And not much staff help as lights went out and vents stopped working.

Fun, fun, fun.

15 mile max hike. That’s 3 hours or so.

In theory. Assuming they would let them do that, which was apparently not the case in this situation.

Yeah, that’s just what you want, 2,000 people (including young kids) trying to hike 15 miles through a dark, wet, electrified and hydraulicized undersea tunnel with only marginal lighting and bad ventilation, with the risk of maintenance trains coming through at any time. WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

Seems the issues are related to extreme cold temperatures and condensation. Still, definitely yet another black mark for the Chunnel, which has had no shortage of them over the years.

Pardon me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t this type of evacuation method most definitely be fucking built into a tunnel that goes under the sea? A great idea would be to actually have that option.

Shouldn’t there be maintenance tunnels parallel to the tracks for exactly this kind of situation? Sure you don’t want people walking in hydraulicized tunnels on tracks but how hard would it be to have an area separated by a wall for people to walk out in case everything goes to hell and you can’t get help in within a reasonable time for whatever reason?

EDIT: And again Pogo and I’s views align, this time at the exact same minute.

Yeah, that’s fun. I have a chunnel route for MS Train sim and it breaks down a lot in there. Just like real life! :D

The BART tunnel under SF Bay has two train tunnels, with an escape tunnel in the middle. Never been in it, but I remember looking at one of the sections on a barge before they submerged it. I assume the Chunnel would have something similar.

Edit: Found a cross-section diagram, hope this funky link works:

Is looking it up in Wikipedia considered too much work these days?

Of course there’s a service tunnel.

And apparently some people did get evacuated.

Apparently everybody walked out - about a mile - it just took them ages to decide on that course of action.