Page last updated at 17:58 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Eurostar to Brussels services suspended for a week

Eurostar trains
Eurostar is advising people to postpone journeys to Brussels

Eurostar services between the UK and Brussels will remain suspended until Monday following the fatal train crash in Belgium, the company has announced.

Investigators remain at the scene of the head-on collision on Monday, which killed 18 and injured about 150.

Eurostar is running a reduced timetable between its UK stations and Lille, France, and there are no services in the immediate area of the accident.

Services between London and Paris have been unaffected.

Some of the Thalys services to France, Germany and the Netherlands are also being affected.

The services from Brussels to Cologne resumed on Wednesday, but the high-speed Amsterdam service remained suspended and there were a "handful" of trains travelling to and from Paris, a Thalys spokeswoman said.

Stop signal

Eurostar said passengers due to travel from London to Brussels were "strongly advised to postpone or cancel their journeys" and that passengers could exchange their tickets or get a refund.

Lille services normally run to and from Brussels. Eurostar said a "very limited" capacity shuttle bus had been used to transfer passengers between the two cities. Its website also listed alternative rail routes.

The crash at Halle, near Brussels, was at the point where commuter and high-speed lines meet, preventing Eurostar and other train companies from being able to operate in the area.

An investigation has been launched into the rush-hour train collision in which the trains' front carriages smashed into each other and were forced up into the air, damaging overhead power lines.

One train had been going from Leuven to Braine-le-Comte, while the second train had been travelling from Quievrain to Liege.

The cause of the crash is unknown, but the governor of Flemish Brabant province, Lodewijk De Witte, said one of the trains seemed to have missed a stop signal.

The crashed trains may not be completely removed from the tracks for two or three days, the Brussels public prosecutor's office said, according to Associated Press news agency.

Map showing Belgium and train lines affected by crash at Halle



SEE ALSO
Belgian passenger trains collide
15 Feb 10 |  Europe
Eyewitness: Belgian train crash
15 Feb 10 |  Europe
In pictures: Belgian train crash
15 Feb 10 |  Europe
Europe's history of rail disasters
15 Feb 10 |  Europe
Belgium country profile
05 Dec 11 |  Country profiles

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