A number of Hitachi 800 series trains used by several rail companies have been withdrawn from service for preventive safety checks.

As a result, Great Western Railway had to cancel a significant number of long distance rail services today (May 8) and disruptions are expected to continue tomorrow (May 9) and the following week.

In a statement, GWR said, “Train schedules are currently under development and will be released as soon as possible.

“While local services are running, we expect them to be very busy. Rail replacement services are extremely limited.

“Customers are asked not to travel on Sunday May 9 and refunds will be provided.”

The problem continues to be investigated by Hitachi, GWR added, and once the trains have been checked and cleared, they hope to be able to return them to service as soon as possible. Another update will be provided in due course.

GWR continued, “Due to the short-term unavailability of the trains that make up our high-speed train services, there will be no service, or only extremely limited service, with no alternative transportation available on the trains. following routes:

London Paddington – Swindon – Bath Spa – Bristol Temple Meads London Paddington – Swindon – Bristol Parkway – Newport – Cardiff Central – Swansea London Paddington – Reading – Taunton – Exeter St Davids – Plymouth – Penzance London Paddington – Reading – Oxford – Evesham – Worcester – Great Malvern – Hereford London Paddington – Reading – Swindon – Gloucester – Cheltenham Spa.

“Customers on these routes are advised not to attempt to travel.”

Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway are running passengers by any reasonable route until further notice, the statement continued.

Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway train tickets to be accepted for these trips.

Railroad Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Routine checks on Hitachi trains early this morning identified cracks in part of the chassis of some trains. Safety is always our top priority, which is why these trains have been taken off the network to undergo full and rigorous checks.

“Hitachi strives to carry out these strict precautionary checks. The trains will be put back into service as soon as possible once they have been fully approved as safe by the manufacturer.

“As some trains start to be reintroduced, disruptions are likely for an extended period, especially on GWR.

“I share the frustration of passengers experiencing significant disruption and would ask people whose trips are affected to check in before they travel.

“I have asked operators to ensure that additional staff are available to help people travel safely, increase their communications with passengers, and make refund and compensation information clear.

“I have also asked all the operators involved – GWR, LNER, Hull Trains and TransPennine Express – to explore all options to ensure that they are helping people complete their journey. This includes maintaining as many services as possible and providing additional rail replacement services.

“We’re also making sure ticket acceptances are in place for other operators, who are looking to scale up their services to provide passengers with alternative ways to complete their journey.

“We also called on the industry to do a quick and comprehensive review to resolve the issue.”

“Routine checks on Hitachi trains early this morning identified cracks in part of the chassis of some trains. Safety is always our top priority, which is why these trains have been taken off the network to undergo full and rigorous checks.

“Hitachi strives to carry out these strict precautionary checks. The trains will be put back into service as soon as possible once they have been fully approved as safe by the manufacturer.

“As some trains start to be reintroduced, disruptions are likely for an extended period, especially on GWR.

“I share the frustration of passengers experiencing significant disruption and would ask people whose trips are affected to check in before they travel.

“I have asked operators to ensure that additional staff are available to help people travel safely, increase their communications with passengers, and make refund and compensation information clear.

“I have also asked all the operators involved – GWR, LNER, Hull Trains and TransPennine Express – to explore all options to ensure that they are helping people complete their journey. This includes maintaining as many services as possible and providing additional rail replacement services.

“We’re also making sure ticket acceptances are in place for other operators, who are looking to scale up their services to provide passengers with alternative ways to complete their journey.”

“We also called on the industry to do a quick and comprehensive review to resolve the issue.”

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Source: www.somersetlive.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-05-08 20:00:28