Information about Eurotunnel – cross the channel via the chunnel, to visit Calais, France.
Eurotunnel started operations in 1994. Popular with freight companies, it has, after a difficult start (we were always amused by their belief they were a "premium service" for what is after all a toll tunnel), but eventually got its act together with simpler and cheaper fares. In 2010 Eurotunnel Truck Shuttles will cross the Channel almost 60,000 times, an average of 165 times a day or up to 7 times an hour. Eurostar has also been a great success, although it seems to have lost its way a bit recently. We at Day-tripper believe that there should be some competition on this route, as complacency seems to have set in.
Routes; Folkestone to Coquelles, Calais. Journey time – 35 minutes
Type of craft; Train.
Reservations; 08443 353535 (UK) 01303 272 222 (from abroad)
St. Martin's Plain, Cheriton, Folkestone, Kent. CT19 4QD.
Booking office; Monday to Friday 8.00am – 7.00pm, Saturday (and Public Holidays) 8.00am – 5.30pm, Sunday 9.00am – 5.30pm.
Remember, cars run on LPG / GPL or duel fuelled cannot travel on Eurotunnel when travelling from Folkestone to Calais, or Calais to Folkestone. There are exceptions – we suggest you ring for advice before travelling. More
Eurotunnel operates a fleet of eight passenger shuttles, each carrying up to 180 cars. Services operate round the clock, 365 days a year, providing motorists with an essential link in the European transport network. Direct motorway connections on both sides of the Channel add to the convenience of travelling with Eurotunnel.
Prices – October 2013
Day / Overnight ticket – from £46 to £60
Short Break Saver (For durations of up to 5 days) – from £92 to £124
Standard Long stay Ticket (For durations of over 5 days) – from £98 to £322
5 Day FlexiPlus priced at £298 return
Standard FlexiPlus priced at £398 return. In addition to this you can also mix and match a one way Standard FlexiPlus ticket with a normal Standard Ticket.
They also have a very popular Frequent Traveller Scheme that has been running for two years and is aimed at the regular traveller between the United Kingdom and France. A customer will purchase 10 X single crossings in advance at a price of £43 each (total £430) and be able to use these to travel for up to 1 year.
– PRE-ORDER – make it easy, order before you go
July 2012 – Mobile phone connection now available in the tunnel. But be careful, as we understand it is only in the French side of the tunnel and from a French company. To be sure you do not incur excessive charges, we suggest you buy a package from your supplier or switch Data Roaming off well before you enter the train.
December 2009 – December Eurostar debacle, a statement from Eurotunnel
July 2009 – Day and overnight fares now start from £44 return.
October 2008 – after the recent fire, services have been disrupted. Priority has been given to freight and Eurostar services. Expect longer eriods between services and a slightly longer journey time for a while.
2008 9th September – Further increase in traffic capacity in the Channel Tunnel
Eurotunnel has brought interval four of the Channel Tunnel, the middle section of the North Tunnel, back into service.
Following the restart of services in the South Tunnel on 13 September, then the re introduction of the first part of the North Tunnel on 22 September, five out of the six intervals which make up the Channel Tunnel are now operational. This good news will enable an increase in traffic, notably by stepping up departure frequency (traffic will now leave in "flights" every 90 minutes instead of every 2 hours) and by raising capacity, from 170 trains per 24 hour period to 210, from 1 October 2008.
Eurostar is planning a modified timetable in order to best utilize the capacity provided by Eurotunnel.
Eurotunnel Shuttle Services: – The number of Truck Shuttles will increase to 98 per day during the week and 34 per day at weekends, the equivalent to a transport capacity of approximately 17,000 trucks per week.
– Passenger Shuttles will increase to 30 per day during the week and 52 per day at weekends, equivalent to a transport capacity of approximately 41,000 cars per week. Rail freight trains will use the Tunnel at night.
Please – remember to be nice to the imbecile in front driving painfully slowly or stopping on the ramp. However tempted you may be to shout at them, you will be behind him/her on the train!
Booking one day in advance – we have successfully booked for the next day at 7.00pm the day before. Don't chance it though.
A word of warning though for travellers – Eurotunnel do not print the time of the crossing on your ticket. Always make a point of asking, otherwise you will rush through thinking you are on the next train, only to find yourself hanging around unable to shop. Whilst we are delighted Eurotunnel have finally brought in some realistic fares for day-trippers and become considerably more flexible in their fare structure, there are still improvements to be made before day-trippers enjoy a simple and flexible fares structure. The new fare structures introduced, in particular the "clock-wise" fares were a good sign.
The £10 penalty charge (amendment fee) has been re-introduced.
. . . are not always available peak holiday times.
Eurotunnel's premium service is expensive but comes with lots of extras. Buy a flexiplus ticket and you get; A dedicated priority lane at check in. A guarantee that you will always travel on the next available departure. Entry to a private Club lounge, where you can freshen up, use the telephone or fax, or pick up some shopping. A light meal, tea, coffee, chocolate and newspaper with their compliments. For business users however the facilities in PO Ferries Club lounge are more practical. Dedicated Club line 08705 388 388. More
Call 0800 096 9992 and press
1 for information on Eurotunnel passenger services
2 for European weather
3 for European roads
4 for shopping with Eurotunnel.
Eurotunnel have teamed up with Nord and Pas de Calais Tourist Boards to offer a special 'buy one get one free' ticket scheme for their customers. It covers 24 of the regions most popular and interesting museums.
Allow 4 hours for preparation and collection in France.
Eurotunel now permit vehicles that were manufactured as LPG or duel fuelled vehicles (as opposed to after market or DIY conversions). This is an advantage to LPG fuelled motor caravan owners who can now take advantage or Eurotunnel's lower rates for this type of vehicle. The Caravan club and other similar organisations are now hoping to push Eurotunnel into permitting properly certified aftermarket conversions to. Of course, if they agree, which is probable, this will apply to all vehicles, not just motor caravans/campers.
Our customer, Eurostar has been in an unprecedented crisis since 18 December and has attracted a great deal of media interest. Their service was suspended for several days and on Christmas Eve, only 37 trains, out of the normal 50 that would have been in service, were operational (24 trains on 23 December, 5 days after their breakdowns).
Despite the fact that Eurotunnel is clearly not to blame for these failures, nor responsible for Eurostar's customer service, and that our teams intervened with speed and professionalism, above and beyond what is strictly required, we have been unfairly criticized for not having reacted correctly. Eurotunnel will not accept these accusations and, without wanting to become embroiled in an argument, we would like to present you with the facts relating to the rescue operations conducted by Eurotunnel overnight from 18-19 December:
– Five Eurostar trains broke down, one after another, due to the snow and blocked the two railway tunnels;
– To deal with this kind of incident, Eurotunnel has, according to the Concession Agreement, two breakdown units (one for each tunnel);
– These were immediately deployed: (i) the first Eurostar broke down at 20:53 (CET) and was towed without incident to London, at the request of Eurostar, (ii) the second Eurostar broke down at 22:38 and the second rescue unit was sent to the site, but was blocked by the third Eurostar which broke down at 23:10;
– The two other Eurostar's in the Tunnel were instructed to transfer to the opposite tunnel, but they both broke down. One at 00:51 and the other at 00:55;
– The second rescue unit completed its mission, towing Eurostar's 9055 and 9059 to Fokestone;
– Although they were in constant contact with our teams, it is apparent that the on board Eurostar crews did not relay any useful information to their passengers. This led to concerns on board Eurostar 9057 which led to us taking the decision to evacuate the passengers immediately into the service tunnel in order to maintain safety. It was also the case that this Eurostar could not be towed, as the protective cover over the front coupling on the train could not be opened.
– In this unprecedented emergency event, Eurotunnel sent one of its own Shuttles which, clearly is not equipped as a passenger train, to complete the essential mission of rescuing those people. The time taken to complete this rescue were unfortunately protracted as the Eurostar crew, in total disregard of safety procedures, told the passengers to bring their luggage with them;
– It was also decided to evacuate the last Eurostar to break down, despite a further complication linked to its position at an intersection between the two running tunnels (Cross-over), meaning that the service tunnel passes beneath the running tunnels, rather than being on the same level;
– All of the people evacuated were repatriated to Folkestone where they were to be taken back into the care of Eurostar;
– Kent police conducted a series of incomprehensible and interminable checks and controls. The two Eurostar trains sent from London to recover their rescued passengers arrived, very late, with no food or water on board and with no crew. Several of the crew members of the evacuated Eurostar's were at this time complaining that they needed to be relieved. All of this caused further delay, again beyond our control, but nonetheless unacceptable and therefore the source of lively protest;
– The Eurotunnel staff who were at this time managing our own customers, who were themselves trapped on the terminal due to the tunnels being occupied by broken down Eurostar's (several thousand people) – our Shuttle Services being suspended until 05:30 – decided spontaneously to go to the assistance of the Eurostar passengers and did everything they could to make up for the major deficiencies those passengers were experiencing;
In total, the passengers on board Eurostar's 9057 and 9053 exited the Tunnel about 5 hours after their trains broke down, a very long time and something that we regret sincerely, but somewhat less than the 16-17 hours quoted by some commentators who have confused the journey through the Tunnel with the total journey time from station to station.
Access to the Tunnel was refused to the last Eurostar's in service. They passed the night at Frethun, instead of returning to Lille or Paris
It remains just to underline that all the rescue operations were controlled, from 00:40 by the two states (under the BINAT agreement). As far as communication between the Eurotunnel Incident Control Centre and the trains, questioned erroneously by some, it was continuous: the proof is that if this had not been the case, the highly complicated rescue operations would not have been achieved in complete safety;
From the morning following this crisis, Eurotunnel put to Eurostar a number of measures designed to improve the speed and comfort of evacuations: notably the provision, by Eurostar or its shareholders, of a third rescue unit and a passenger train to conduct evacuations under better conditions than in our car carrying shuttles.
In parallel, Eurostar, in order to understand what happened, has appointed two experts, wrongly called an Independent Enquiry Commission (because they are not independent, nor are they an Enquiry Commission in the sense of the Concession because there is no reason at all why their mission should be uniquely focused on the Tunnel).
Together, Eurotunnel and Eurostar have, over the past 15 years, become indispensable in linking the Continent and Great Britain. Eurotunnel will do all in its power to enable Eurostar to get over this crisis as soon as possible.
Shareholder Information service