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Eurotunnel Delays

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
From experience of many crossings, you are unlikelyto actually get on an earlier train as if they actually let you through to the boarding lanes (people are often turned back) , as they will direct you to a different lane anyway. I've watched it happen. If there is any room in the train once boarding is completed they sometimes fill it up. I'd be seriously pissed off if I was unable to board my booked train cos some dickhead thought they could jump the queue.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
They are pretty good at managing the queues I'd say. If it is quiet, then they let you through. If. It is busy they only let two trains though to queue and sometimes will fill empty spaces. Try as it might,I can't think of an alternative.

I do sometimes wonder what would happen if they abandoned bookings and just ran trains every 15 mins on a first come basis, you know just turn up and go, like they advertised it when it was originally opened!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Today there were absolutely no queues for cars at the tunnel when we arrived - everybody was caught up on the M20 from J6 to J8. There was simply no train earlier then the one we were able to get, which involved a 2hr wait as we had just missed one - bet we'd have caught it if we hadn't been so closely scrutinised by the customs. And yes, they scanned our hanger.

cstreat - good luck tomorrow. I think I would try exiting at J5 & heading to Dover on M2/A2 & then come back up to the tunnel. Although apparently lorries that were doing that were not allowed to & were sent to join the back of the queue. Felt so sorry for those guys! There were long lorry queues in France heading to Calais too, but at least they had managed to keep car lanes open. They were saying that the tunnel would be closed Sat & Sun nights, although I don't know from what time.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 22-01-15 17:16; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

I'd be seriously pissed off if I was unable to board my booked train cos some dickhead thought they could jump the queue.

Laughing +1
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
He is a bit of local knowledge for those travelling to the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone if Operation Stack is on

Do not use the M20 at all or the A20 coast bound . If travelling from the M25 get onto the A2/M2 as soon as possible preferably at M25 junction 2.
Follow A2 then M2 then A2 towards Dover. After bypassing Canterbury take A260 towards Folkestone (sign posted Channel Tunnel) after about 6.5 miles join the A20 toward Ashford/London (not Dover) this becomes the M20. You must leave M20 at junction 12 and then follow signs for Channel Tunnel (old A20). Traffic will be busy on A2/M2 but moving.
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I thought I had decided what to do tomorrow morning; head along the south coast, slow and steady, but now I`m not so sure after @kevinraine, and@genepi, advice. Plus I`ve been left home alone to cook, clear up and pack the car, and ended up imbibing . Had my s**t together earlier, but all I`ve got now is a nice red curry. Decisions, decisions. Probably started my holiday a tad early !!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Have to say, following the Eurotunnel Twitter feed, it does look like they have had delays, broken down trains, other incidents pretty much every day since Christmas Shocked

The trains are now beginning to look very tired and I'm wondering if years of no investment is now beginning to tell? Luckily I'm not using them again until Easter, so hope current issues are resolved by then!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@cstreat, Because of our delays, we've stopped off in Dijon overnight instead of getting to our son in Chamonix - it s a holiday after all & we'll see him tomorrow instead Very Happy Have a safe trip, anyway. Advice from @kevinraine, looks brilliant & I will make a note of it for future occasions. However, in the early hours of this morning, we had no warning of the road problem - my naivity I guess, not having exerienced problems before - so hadn't checked releveant websites in advance & didn't understand what operation stack actually meant. You live & learn!
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So... come off around Aylesford, J.5 or 6, up A229, or even 4, up the A228 to M2 ? @kevinraine, Do you mean A280 from Canterbury, can`t find A260 ?
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A260. goes from A2 just before Lydden race circuit to Hawkinge. think that's the road we used to take years ago to Folkestone ferry but the junction is nothing like it used to be.

personally I'd carry on the A2 and get the ferry Twisted Evil (few delays and it's not true that everyone pukes)
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Got it, Thanks
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
what's it like approaching Eurotunnel from the French side? Have friends heading there tomorrow.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
oh and for those trying to use A2/M2 needing to get from M20, I'd prolly choose A249 (think that's dual the whole way), or A229 (shortest link between the two), rather than A228 (longer, more roundabouts), but if the M20 is carnage by A228 turn off then you'll be needing all the luck you can get. go that way if you like seeing funny town names that kids will snigger at.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@pam w, There were queues of lorries yesterday almost from the St Omer peage. But they have a coned lane (outside one) & lorries were being put in that at the peage. The car lane seemed to be flowing fine. But that was yesterday. Hope they have a good trip
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Setting off now ! Decided to give M25/M20 a miss and go along south coast....hopefully slow and sure. Safe journeys SH s. snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Do not try the A249 because it is too close to where operation stack starts at Maidstone services. All around Maidstone has been clogged up for days. I repeat get on the A2/M2 as close to london as possible use Junction 2 of M25.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@genepi, thanks. That's an awful lot of lorries..... it's a long way to that péage.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@pam w, If it is very slow beyond the St Omer peage (or indeed at a peak week if it is backed up at the peage itself) it can be worth turning off at St Quentin and going via Amiens and then Northwards up the coast through Boulogne.

It sounds mad as it adds almost 50km and 20+ minutes but you can very easily lose that time and more queuing at the peage or clogged up on the A16 Westbound trying to get to Eurotunnel check in.

107.7 fm will give traffic reports as you head up from Reims so in good time to divert if there are major problems.
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@DJL, thanks. I've always just sailed straight into the Eurotunnel terminal on pretty empty roads, but I've been lucky, and travelling off peak.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Heading back on Sunday too, fingers crossed.
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Well apparently our 6.50am train although fully booked will be on time tomorrow and according to Eurotunnel "everything's back to normal", fingers crossed!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You will still have problems getting there so give your self plenty of time
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
You will still have problems getting there so give your self plenty of time
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
A couple of weeks ago I missed check-in for my 11.20pm train by a few minutes and they told me the next available train was as 3.27am, even though there was one running at 1.27am! I had a nap in the car and woke at 1am to find all the other cars in ther car park had gone, so I though I'd try and get on the earlier train. I drove through and got straight onto the 1.27am, I was in the high section and there were only three other vehicles in there so it seems they were only making me wait as punishment for missing my check-in time. They did scan my hanger whilst on the train though which hasn't happened before.
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I'm intrigued with the scanning of hangers, are they trying to build up a database of frequent travellers or late/early arrivals????
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@Boris, Maybe if you travelled a lot and kept the hangers, sooner or later you would have a complete set, and a 'flexi ticket'. While the guy at the car park can see the letter he cannot check the other details on the hanger. Maybe they are now checking to see if there is a % of people doing this
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Nick D, Kent Police saying they expect operation stack to still be in operation tomorrow. Allow for extra travel time.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@BergenBergen, Cheers, staying with friends near Brands Hatch tonight so will at least be a little closer, am relying on their local knowledge to get us there on time, no pressure! Very Happy

I have virtually a full set of Eurotunnel hangers however they've also just changed the design and appear to be adding additional info like the barcodes so not going to work for me Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
They can't scan every number plate on the train as cars have to be parked a few cm from the cars in front. That leaves only the first and last car in each carriage that can have its number plate scanned.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
They don't have to scan the number plates on the train itself. When you leave the car parking area you come to a man in a booth that tells you what lane to join prior to embarking. I'd imagine that's where they scan your number plate and what train you're supposed to be on. (at least on the UK side. I can't remember the french side).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@olderscot, indeed - they already have automated check in based on number plate, and believe they are trying to manage the flow through to lanes based on number plates, no doubt meaning they can eliminate the need for man in booth
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We crossed on Jan 9th and staff were scanning "hangars" (not number plates) on the train. We'd not seen this before and wondered why is was happening. I'm not sure what they would have done if they had found someone with the wrong letter as the train had started moving. At the very least, they might demand payment if the motorist was crossing at a more expensive time?
We were lucky on Saturday as we arrived about 1.00 pm, realised things were not looking hopeful and quickly headed for a ferry before the rush.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I really can’t believe that Eurotunnel would be so worried about a few people sneaking onto an earlier train that they would check hangar letters and then “tax” people who got on early – surely if questioned people would just say they drove round and followed the instructions of staff and ended up on an earlier crossing. Anyone who was being devious about it would swap back the “fake” hanger or bin it to conceal the evidence. Last thing ethey need is a long drawn out argument that delayed unloading of the train.

I suspect it is more to do with gathering information on time-cycle from check in to departure for some sort of commercial purposes.

The hangars have all sorts of information on them already, not just a letter – it is clear if they are FRA-UK or UK-FRA, whether animals on board, whether low or high and whether frequent traveller, flexiplus or standard – all those are visible at a quick glance. I suspect they will also have a distinguishing feature for firearms carried. Over the years there have also been font changes and colour changes so you would have to be a very frequent traveller to get a full set for all eventualities

We always head round to departure as soon as possible (irrespective of the letter being shown for departure). If we are too early we are either sent back, directed to a queue for a later train or sent straight on. Whatever happens we have lost nothing and even if we are directed to the correct queue for our train we are towards the front of the queue. There is a real risk of being bumped backwards if you are the last of the four lanes allocated to each crossing – it only takes a minor technical fault (say a carriage out of operation) to cause a backlog. Let’s say all is going smoothly and we have to wait for the full time until our booked crossing – then I do that in my car in the departure lanes rather than in the cattle shed where they try to sell me overpriced coffee or lousy burgers.
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@DJL, yep - we follow same approach most of the time - particularly as the brekkie burger and coffee is far better from the van in the holding lanes than anything in the terminal building - and cheaper! If it is busy, and they checking hangers, then we will always wait until our letter shown.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As regards the scanning thing, we asked why when it first happened to us (about last June, I think) and were told that it was because people were booking motorcycle crossings & then turning up in cars & vans...

We came over to France on the Tunnel on Wednesday evening. I had texts from Eurotunnel warning me about Operation Stack & 2 hour train delays, but as it turned out, we had an fairly easy drive down (via junction 2 of the M25 onto A2, M2, A229 (I think) to Maidstone then A20 to J9 of M20 - sorry to be so detailed, but it worked very well for us, so it might be of help), only missed our check-in time by a couple of minutes, and were sent straight through onto a train which left 5 mins before our booked time. I realise now that we were very fortunate!
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Quote:


As regards the scanning thing, we asked why when it first happened to us (about last June, I think) and were told that it was because people were booking motorcycle crossings & then turning up in cars & vans..

That doesn't sound right. I booked a crossing for a minibus in November last year and when I entered the registration number it said it was not the right vehicle. The point here is that when you enter your reg number at the booking stage it identifies whether the vehicle with that number matches the type of vehicle you made the booking for. If you don't enter a reg number I think you can still make a booking.
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err how does it manage that?
most certainly can't for foreign registered vehicles.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
As the price of crossings varies I would guess changing your letter hanger to try to get an earlier train would be treated by Eurotunnel as fraud and (quite rightly) leave you open to prosecution.
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Quote:

There is a real risk of being bumped backwards if you are the last of the four lanes allocated to each crossing – it only takes a minor technical fault (say a carriage out of operation) to cause a backlog.

it only takes a minor technical fault or some selfish barstewards who think they have the right to queue jump...... wink
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Went along the south coast with no problems, just slow, and hit an empty M20, virtually no cars at tunnel, a quick check for explosives, into the flexi lounge for coffee,paper and picnic, and onto train 5 mins later. Probably the fastest I have ever got on. Now overnighting near Troyes, full of home made French spirits. Met some other chaps traveling to Val Cenis en route, so further drinks arranged. Ho hum! Thanks for all traffic advice.
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