The joint Anglo-French review, which presented its findings at a press
conference in London this morning, recognised that weather conditions
in the Nord Pas de Calais region were particularly severe with
extremely heavy snowfall. However, it concludes that the winterisation
measures adopted by Eurostar were inadequate and should be revised,
with emphasis on improving maintenance and checking seals around the
control cubicle door; better protection of electronic components; and
insulation of inductors with a redesign of the power car roof layout.

The review says the evacuation of trains was carried out quickly and
safely, but criticises the conditions that arose onboard the trains
when they lost power, and subsequently air conditioning and lighting
failed. The investigation notes that Eurostar and Eurotunnel's
evacuation procedures deal with how to vacate a train in the event of a
fire, but do not adequately address the need to evacuate trains for
other reasons. The review has recommended Eurostar and Eurotunnel carry
out an urgent review of these procedures.

Crisis communication between Eurostar and Eurotunnel is also
criticised, and the review has recommended a series of measures to
improve communications between the two companies, and provide better
information to passengers in the event of an emergency.

In the days that followed the breakdowns, Eurostar suspended all
services leaving thousands of passengers stranded. The review concludes
that Eurostar did not have adequate emergency procedures in place to
manage major disruption to its services, and recommends the operator
should urgently instigate a review of its procedures. It also says
Eurostar should put in place procedures to quickly mobilise a rescue
train, improve communications channels for passengers that might be
affected by disruption, improve communications to passengers already at
stations, and provide information on alternative means of transport.

Eurostar has appointed a director of business continuity who, with a
dedicated team will be responsible for implementing all of the reviews
recommendations. The company has also pledged to work with Eurotunnel
on an improved communications system and the provision of additional
rescue locomotives, as well as a joint review of rescue and evacuation
A full report with in-depth analysis of the review's findings will
appear in the March edition of International Railway Journal.