Eurostar services thrown into chaos by snow will not return to normal until “after Christmas”, the company’s chief executive conceded tonight.
Passengers left stranded for three days during the saga reacted with anger after bosses resumed services and then told them they were still not guaranteed to get home for Christmas.
Speaking at a press conference to launch an independent inquiry into the disruption, chief executive Richard Brown said: “We will not be fully back to normal until after Christmas because we have a number of trains which have to be repaired and we have modifications to do.
“The good news is that if you turn up at the station we are able to take all the passengers that are turning up to travel.
“We have been pretty successful in clearing the backlog of passengers waiting to travel since both Saturday and Sunday.”
Christopher Garnett, a former commercial director of Eurotunnel, will lead investigations into the disruptions. Results were likely to be returned next month, he said.
He told a press conference: “We are keen to get on with this review and ascertain the causes and impact of Eurostar’s problems over recent days.”
Travellers queued in their thousands to board the first journeys out of St Pancras International after three days of cancellations.
Services operated on a “shuttle basis” to get as many people across the Channel as possible, a Eurostar spokeswoman said.