Hitachi cracks into all train types on UK railways Business

UK trains are safe despite revelations that cracks found on undercarriages of Hitachi intercity trains are a widespread problem, the industry regulator has said.

The Office of Rail and Road is now urging operators and manufacturers to carry out further testing to identify the extent of faults on all train types, including those not made by Hitachi.

The identification of cracks on Hitachi-built long-distance trains caused chaos for thousands of passengers and led to a wave of cancellations in June last year.

Services have been suspended on the Great Western Railway and London North Eastern Railway due to urgent inspections.

Operators have been forced to bring back decades-old Intercity 125 trains to replace Hitachi trains as they are repaired.

The ORR said similar faults had been discovered on the undercarriages of Southeastern, TransPennine Express, Hull Trains and ScotRail services.

The regulator’s report states that corrosion cracks were found on the lifting points, which lift the trolleys during maintenance work, due to the use of a type of salt-corroded aluminum in the ‘air.

An ORR spokesman said passengers shouldn’t worry as the affected trains were “not dangerous”.

It was concluded that the cracks appeared during the normal operation of the trains.

“It is not yet known for sure why this happened, although potential factors include wheel wear and track design,” officials said.

“Industry should conduct further work to identify the reasons for the higher levels of fatigue.”

Ian Prosser, Chief Railway Inspector, said: “Our review provides a clearer picture of the problem and we will continue our monitoring to ensure that work is progressing to agree the permanent solution and that our recommendations are implemented.

“It is important that the whole industry works together to learn from what has happened and our recommendations will contribute to this.”

A Hitachi Rail spokesperson said: “The ORR report indicates that all Hitachi trains comply with applicable standards and that we have taken appropriate steps to prioritize safety and maintain train availability. .

“The report also provides a detailed account of tireless work to simultaneously keep trains safe, while working towards long-term solutions.

“The proposed engineering solutions described in the report are currently being reviewed by all partners. We are working together to finalize the plan for their implementation, while always prioritizing train safety and availability to support consistent passenger services. »

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This notice was published: 2022-04-07 13:02:47

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