- By Harrison Jones
- BBC News
Eurostar said it would resume all services to London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam on Sunday following a day of major disruption.
New Year's plans for thousands were dashed after flooding in a tunnel under the River Thames led to the cancellation of all Eurostar services between London and Paris on Saturday.
Eurostar warned Sunday could see further delays but services have resumed.
Southeastern, which has canceled high-speed services to Ebbsfleet on Saturday, will operate a reduced service on the route on Sunday as it uses the same route as Eurostar.
And the Met Office has warned that domestic travel could be disrupted this weekend as wind and rain sweep across the UK. A yellow weather warning for wind is in place for the south coast of England, south-west England and south Wales from 10:00 GMT until midnight.
In Scotland, ScotRail said it expected disruption due to bad weather, including speed restrictions.
The first Eurostar train left London a few minutes late at 08:10 GMT.
On Sunday morning, Eurostar said: “Flooding in the Thames Tunnels has been brought under control by Network Rail High Speed.
“There will be some speed restrictions this morning which will lead to delays and stations are expected to be very busy.”
Travelers on Saturday faced expensive hotel bills, significant difficulties in reaching their destination or expensive airfares. The Port of Dover said on Saturday that it had no foot passengers in stock for the day.
Richard Thorpe, director of engineering at HS1, which operates the line, apologized to customers saying he knew the disruption to travel plans was “disastrous” but said things were “very positive” on Sunday.
He told the BBC that water had been removed from both tunnels and that as many trains and people as possible were being moved.
The unprecedented amount of water overwhelmed pumping systems and caused flooding, he said.
Stories emerge from travelers facing difficult situations on both sides of The Channel.
A pregnant woman from Norwich said she was “crying for about an hour” after being stranded in Paris.
Ella Cattier, her four-year-old son Xander and his father were due to return to the UK after a break at Disneyland Paris.
He told the BBC on Saturday morning that the scene at Gare du Nord station was chaotic and that no help was available for affected passengers.
Ms Cattier, who is 33 weeks pregnant, said the next train was on January 3 – the day she had to return to work – and hotels and transfers were unaffordable.
“No trains, no boats, no hotels”, she said.
“I don't have £1,200 a night to stay in Paris. I can't get a train or connections to Amsterdam and back to England.
“Plus, I don't know if they'll let me fly at this point in the pregnancy.”
Curt Downs, his wife Megan and their one-year-old son were trapped in the Carre du Nord.
“The Eurostar staff there are completely frustrated and can't recommend anything to us,” he told BBC News.
A staff member said there were 4,000 passengers to help, Mr Downs said.
He said the family spent two hours trying to find a way back to the UK, searching for ferries, car hire and flights.
They managed to get some of the last seats on the £450 flight from Paris to Manchester, from where Mrs Downes' mother made the five-hour round trip to take them to Bedfordshire.
Meanwhile, at London's congested St Pancras station, emotional passengers sat on suitcases and frantically tried to find alternative routes.
Christina David, 25, and Georgina Benjamin, 26, from Sydney, found their train canceled after traveling around Europe on a budget for three weeks.
They planned to “go hard” to their final stop in Paris – where they hoped to ring in the New Year in an expensive hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower before flying home.
Ms Benjamin said she wanted to see Paris “light up” but now felt frustrated and angry.
“A lot of people were crying,” said her friend Ms David. “We don't know where to go, we have nowhere to stay.”
A video taken inside the flooded tunnel shows water pouring down the tracks from a pipe attached to the wall of the tunnel.
Thames Water previously said a “fire-fighting system” may have caused the flooding. But HS1 said the source of the flooding would be investigated, but at this stage there was “no evidence to suggest that the fire control system was in any way related to the problem”.
It said the flooding was being “resolved” and the route would remain operational, but speed restrictions and delays and disruptions were expected.
“We understand how frustrating this has been for passengers and apologize for the inconvenience caused at such an important time of year,” a spokesman said.
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