The UK Government has called on the rail industry and Hitachi to urgently set out a plan to resolve the disruption after cracks were found in Hitachi’s Class 800 trains.
The ‘vast majority’ of Great Western Railway’s fleet and a number of LNER and TransPennine Express trains were taken out of service to undergo thorough inspections after checks on Saturday found cracks on the chassis of some trains.
Chris Heaton-Harris has requested a plan from Hitachi to find to what extent the cracking is and whether trains can run with them.
The Office of Rail and Road will be working closely with the industry to help identify any issues.
Operators have been asked to set out a plan to work out where alternative trains can be found and these should be brought into service as quickly as possible.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris said: “Today I have directed the rail industry to urgently set out a comprehensive plan to ensure services can safely resume as soon as possible.
“I expect operators to explore all options for replacement services to help people complete their journeys, and have asked Hitachi for a safety inspection plan, as well as longer term repair strategy.
“Our focus is to ensure trains are returned to service as quickly as possible, once they are fully approved as safe. Only then can we start to rebuild a reliable and punctual timetable for passengers.
“I also want to thank passengers for their patience during what could be a significant period of prolonged disruption, likely to continue for some time.”
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