Why new Eurostar trains are unable to stop at Ashford

Eurostar services have been cancelled due to industrial action in France

After a £10 million redevelopment at Ashford International, it has emerged that new Eurostar trains are temporarily unable to stop at the station.

A technical fault means new e32o trains are going to Ebbsfleet or straight to the St Pancras terminus, leaving east Kent travellers with longer journeys home.

Passengers are supposed to be told in advance which services are stopping at Ashford and which are not.

But Canterbury City Council leader Simon Cook, who lives in Bridge, went to Paris with his family in April and was supposed to alight at Ashford.

Instead, the train continued to London.

Simon Cook’s Eurostar failed to stop at Ashford

Cllr Cook said: “It was very inconvenient for us as we had to go all the way to St Pancras and then all the way back.

“And I know for a fact that it has happened at other times. The same thing to happened to a friend of mine a few days before it happened to us.

“You have to wonder how committed Eurostar is committed to maintaining services at Ashford.”

Eurostar insisted that it had no intention of pulling out of the east Kent station.

Spokesman Rob Haycocks told the Canterbury Journal: “Our e320 trains are going through further testing at Ashford station whilst we investigate some technical issues. During this time, our e320 trains are unable to call at the station.

“We remain fully committed to Ashford station, and are actively working with the infrastructure provider to find a solution. In the meantime, our e300 and original trains continue to serve Ashford International.

“On some occasions, last minute set swaps have resulted in e320 trains having to be used on Ashford services.”

Passengers who had wanted to get off at Ashford are provided with tickets from either Ebbsfleet or St Pancras.

Mr Haycocks added: “This is an interim measure and we are working hard to ensure that all our fleet types can call at Ashford station as soon as possible.”

“Simon Cook must have travelled on a service which was planned to be operated by an e300, but unfortunately there must have been an operational reason to swap that to an e320, which cannot stop there.”


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