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UK-France trains delayed by heatwave, holiday traffic

media Delayed passangers wait for a Eurostar train in Paris on October 18, 2016. THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

Train service between Britain and France was hit Friday by the heatwave and increased rail traffic, with Eurotunnel passengers warned to expect delays and problems with the air conditioning.

Some Eurotunnel passengers looking to leave the UK on holiday may be in for a long, hot ride.

In a tweet on Friday, Eurotunnel wrote that delays on the British side have reached two and a half hours in total – with pre-check-in delays of 30 minutes, and post-check-in wait times of two hours.

According to Eurotunnel, the heatwave is largely to blame for both the delays and the dysfunctional air conditioning. Bad news for travellers in the UK, just one day after the hottest temperature of the year was recorded there. The mercury hit 35.1 degrees in Wisley on the southwest edge of London on Thursday.

Passengers have been encouraged to stock up on water beforehand.

"It's a very busy day, it's the day when everyone leaves on holiday," AFP quotes a Eurotunnel spokesman as saying.  

However, wait times on Friday were an improvement compared to Thursday, when the transport service announced that delays hit four to five hours.

Eurotunnel operates a drive-on train service for cars and trucks going through the Channel Tunnel. 

The Channel Tunnel runs for 50 kilometres between Kent in southeast England and northern France. Opened in 1994, it is the world's longest uninterrupted undersea link.    

Different services run through the Channel Tunnel: Eurostar passenger trains, Eurotunnel vehicle shuttles and goods trains.

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