UPDATE: General strike in Belgium, 22:00 CET Wednesday 21 to 22:00 CET Thursday 22 December

21 Dec 2011

A general strike is planned to take place across Belgium on Thursday 22 December meaning that the Belgian rail network will be closed on this day. Eurostar strongly advises passengers travelling to or from Brussels on Thursday 22 to exchange their tickets for travel before or after.

As a consequence of the general strike, Eurostar will be unable to operate services to and from Brussels from 22:00 CET on 21 December to 22:00 CET on 22 December. In addition, all other domestic and international connecting services to and from Brussels will be unable to operate. Domestic connecting rail services from Brussels are already subject to disruption today and further information and advice is available on Eurostar.com.

During this period Eurostar services to and from Brussels will terminate and commence at Lille Europe station. A limited replacement coach service will operate between Lille Europe and Brussels Midi stations in both directions in order to accommodate Eurostar travellers affected by the Belgian general strike. However, demand is likely to be extremely high for these coaches and we expect both stations to become busy as a result.

Eurostar strongly recommends that passengers booked to travel on a Eurostar service either to or from Brussels on the 22nd December (or on the 19:04 departure from London on the 21st Dec) exchange their tickets to travel either before or after the 22nd December, wherever possible. Eurostar will allow exchanges free of charge regardless of ticket conditions but subject to availability on alternative services.

Customers wishing to re-book their travel should contact their original point of sale, or Eurostar on one of the following numbers;

UK: 03448 224 777

Belgium: 02 40 06 731

Customers who are unable to travel and wish to refund their tickets should contact their original point of sale, this can be done anytime in the next 2 months.

Eurostar service to and from Paris during this period will not be affected.

For passengers holding tickets for travel on 22 December to and from Lille Europe, a special timetable will be in operation details of which have been published on Eurostar.com. Customers are advised to check their new departure times and to arrive at their departure station at least one hour before, where they will be issued a new boarding pass.

Eurostar is contacting directly affected passengers. Additional information will be posted to Eurostar.com as it becomes available and customers are advised to check for further updates.


Note to editors:
About Eurostar

1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 115 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.

4. The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel

- Since 2001 the Ashden awards have been supporting sustainability projects across the globe and now they're working with Eurostar to promote sustainable travel

- As part of the Tread Lightly programme to cut carbon and get people thinking differently about their journeys, Eurostar has launched the Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel

- With a prize fund and a host of benefits, the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel will celebrate and support local sustainable travel projects in the UK, France and Belgium

5. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network

For more information contact:

Eurostar Press Office
t:0044 (0)20 7843 5500