A motorist drives on a snow covered road as brief but heavy snow storms move across the Yorkshire Moors on March 11, 2013 in Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Photographer: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
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LONDON - Swaths of northern Europe were in the grip of snow, ice and high winds Tuesday, causing serious disruption to road, rail and air travelers.
High-speed train operator Eurostar, which runs services linking Paris, Brussels and London, among other destinations, warned of serious disruption and urged passengers to stay at home.
"Severe weather conditions overnight in Northern France and Belgium have resulted in sections of the high speed line being closed," it said. "All Eurostar services are currently disrupted and are subject to severe delays. Our advice to passengers is not to travel today and not to come to our stations."
About 10,000 passengers are likely to be affected as a result of the cancellation of around 24 out of 27 scheduled trains Tuesday, Eurostar spokeswoman Lucy Drake said.
The bad weather may also affect services Wednesday, she said, with further cancellations or extended journey times.
Passengers affected by the disruption will be offered exchanges or refunds, Drake said, and are urged to consider traveling next week instead if possible.
Air travel has also been hit, with Germany's Frankfurt airport -- a major European hub -- canceling all flights for several hours as it seeks to clear its four runways.
About 200 flights are affected, according to Dieter Hulick, a spokesman for Frankfurt airport.
He told CNN the top priority was safety. "It is snowing so strongly that although the snow is being plowed away, it piles up again immediately afterward," he said.
Authorities hope to reopen the airport at 1:30 p.m. local (8:30 a.m. ET) if the snowfall lessens as forecast, Hulick said.
Meanwhile, the official Twitter feed for the two airports in Paris warns that rail travel in the French capital is seriously disrupted Tuesday, making access to the airport difficult.
A quarter of flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle and one in five flights from Paris-Orly would be canceled on Tuesday in anticipation of the heavy snowfall, the two airports said Monday. Travelers were advised to check on their flight's status before heading to the airport.
The wintry blast also caused problems for motorists in southeast England, with some trapped in their vehicles overnight by accidents and road closures on icy highways in Kent and Sussex.
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