11th June 1994

(Special Train)

Eurostar Used 373215 + 373216
Loco Used 0004

Route :

Traction Route
373215 + 373216 London Waterloo - Herne Hill - Sevenoaks - Coquelles
373215 + 373216 Coquelles to location 60.5 km
0004 (1) location 60.5 km to location 45.2 km
373215 + 373216 location 45.2 km - (reverse of outward route) - London Waterloo

Notes :
(1) This was one of (at least?) two "emergency exercise" runs made prior to the public opening of the Channel Tunnel. The second run detailed was made on 14/01/95.

Source : Nick Lawford (on the train throughout)

(from Nick Lawford)

This was the first of 2 Eurostar emergency exercises I was privileged to be invited to take part in.

This train as far as is known was the first UK originating public passenger carrying train through the complete length of the channel tunnel that ordinary members of the public had access to. There had been a number of previous special workings for staff, families and contractors and the press and so on, but this one allowed people not connected with EPS or TML - although you really needed to have a friend there to find out it was taking place :o)

The exercise was in 2 parts, a mid tunnel de-training, and a Coquelles de-training.

Outwards route from Waterloo was normal CTR1 via Herne Hill and Sevenoaks. Shortly after entering the tunnel a simulated exercise took place. The pretence was that a detector had been triggered requiring the train to halt, unable to continue, and in need of evacuation into the emergency access road. This we did, the entire train decanting onto the running tunnel walkway, into the access road. This was video recorded by the emergency services: passengers walking through the train to reach the doors which were opened, disembarking, and on to the walkway. As part of the exercise another train was brought alongside in the other running tunnel : we could not see this and it was not used but it was formed of a set of SNCF 'Corail' stock and a BB22200 electric loco on each end. The locos were not any of those which Railfreight hired, but were from those which Eurotunnel themselves used for stock testing at Coquelles. The entire tunnel was under possession for this exercise so there as no need for TVM430 equipped BB22200s.

Emergency services arrived in assorted road vehicles via the tunnel access road, after which we rejoined the Eurostar to continue to Coquelles. This is a rare move for Eurostars as we ran into the Eurotunnel terminal 'voie d'urgence' [ emergency track] - normally only Eurotunnel own shuttles enter Coquelles. Here, another simulated de-training took place while the French emergency services tested out their response.

In theory that was the end of the day and we should simply have returned to Waterloo. But a real failure took place. As we entered the tunnel the set tripped out the overhead supply - but the section could not be reset. We were only just inside the French portal, completely dead, but there were no emergency rescue diesel locos at Coquelles, they were all at Cheriton. Again, this was because the tunnel was not in normal use, otherwise they are ready at both ends. Diesel 0004 arrived from Cheriton, towing the dead set from location 60.5 km to location 45.2 km, near the French crossover tunnel. 0004 detached, the Eurostar regained power, and continued to Waterloo as outwards route. The EPS rescue 73s were sent to Ashford to shadow our return in case of further incident but were not used.

An aside was that on my way into London from Luton to St Pancras I had observed 56004 ready waiting for the HRT ''National Grid'' tour. But John Farrow of HRT was not doing his train today, he too was on the EPS exercise : he was noted surveying the kitchen cars catering equipment for dinex railtour possibilities.

Nick Lawford

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