Eurostar chaos as e-gate malfunction sparks two-hour delays with hundreds stuck at border security


A malfunction at e-gate has sparked chaos

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 30/05/2024

- 16:13

Updated: 31/05/2024

- 10:23

Britons travelling from Paris to London by train have been warned of 'severe delays'

Eurostar travellers at Gare du Nord in Paris are facing severe delays due to a technical issue at e-gates.

Customers travelling from the French capital to London by train have been advised to delay their journey if possible after hundreds of people were left waiting at the station on Thursday afternoon.

Eurostar said in a statement: "We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience caused."

Passengers were notified about the “IT problem” in an email, warning them of “severe delays and last-minute cancellations”.


Eurostar passengers have been warned that the outage could cause serious delays


One traveller received a message alerting them that their 8 PM train from London St Pancras’ was likely to be affected.

In a statement on X, Eurostar UK confirmed that the outage had affected systems used by customer officers to check passports.

They also warned that other forms of transport would likely be impacted by the outage, adding that the company “have no idea” when the issue will be fixed.

Describing the scenes, one X user said: "Thousands stranded at #Eurostar terminal in Paris after UK Border Force computers go down to trigger (at best) a two-hour delay."

Pictures showing long queues at the train station in Paris have flooded X, with many passengers demanding answers from Eurostar.

The company's website shows that the 1.30 PM train from Gare du Nord to London St Pancras arrived three hours late.

A spokesperson for Eurostar said: A technical problem is affecting the UK Border Forces e-gates at Gare du Nord, causing major delays and impacting all traffic on the London-Paris route (in both directions).

"We are awaiting the intervention of a technician to resolve this problem as quickly as possible and reduce the impact on our passengers but unfortunately, we had to cancel the two last trains of the day.

"For those who need it, we provide hotel accommodation or taxis at our own charge. The persons concerned are individually looked after directly by our train managers and staff at the station.

"We advise those who can, to postpone their journey. We are offering affected customers exchanges free of charge or a full refund of their journey.

"Eurostar teams are taking all measures to make sure that those who need to travel will be able to arrive in London. We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience caused."

Regular Eurostar passengers were recently warned that delays could become more frequent in October as new requirements are introduced at St Pancras station.

The rollout of the EU digital border system next autumn will require fingerprints and facial scans from British travellers on first use.

France’s transport minister has warned this could lead to delays and civil unrest in airports.

There the new border system will speed up procedures at passport control, but peak travel times could see longer wait times as travellers go through the new screening process.


Eurostar train

Britons in France have been advised to reschedule their trip if possible


Eurostar travellers with a non-EU passport will have to turn up at the station early to allow enough time to go through boarding procedures.

Passengers will be required to show up to two hours before departure as the new system launches and collates data.

Fingerprints and pictures stored in scanning machines will remain there for three years, allowing individuals to be verified on future trips around the EU.

The exit-entry system will replace the physical stamping of passports when going through passport control.

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