Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, has said that ‘safety is always our absolute priority’ in a statement after cracks were found on Hitachi Class 80X trains.
Major disruption is being felt across the network today after Class 80X trains were withdrawn from service, affecting London North Eastern Railway, Hull Trains, TransPennine Express and Great Western Railway.
We have been keeping you updated with the latest updates on our blog, which you can see here.
Hull Trains have since resumed, but major disruption is expected for a ‘prolonged’ period, according to the Rail Minister.
Here is the full statement by Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris:
“Routine checks of Hitachi trains early this morning identified cracks on part of the chassis of some trains. Safety is always our absolute priority, so these trains have been taken off the network to undergo full and rigorous checks.”
“Hitachi are working to complete these strict precautionary checks. Trains will be returned to service as quickly as possible once they are fully approved as safe by the manufacturer.”
“Whilst some trains are starting to be reintroduced, disruption is likely for a prolonged period, particularly on GWR.”
“I share the frustration of passengers who are experiencing significant disruption, and would ask people whose journeys are affected to check before travelling.”
“I’ve asked operators to ensure extra staff are on hand to help people complete their journeys safely, to increase their communications with passengers, and to make information on refunds and compensation clear.”
“I’ve also asked all affected operators – GWR, LNER, Hull Trains and TransPennine Express – to explore all options to ensure they help people complete their journeys. That includes maintaining as many services as possible and providing additional rail replacement services.”
“We’re also ensuring ticket acceptances are in place on other operators, who are looking at strengthening their services to provide passengers with alternative ways of completing their journey.”
“We have also asked the industry to conduct a rapid and comprehensive review to resolve the issue.”
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