All is not well on both the Great Western and East Coast rail routes in the UK, as the Class 800 trains have had to be taken out of service en-mass.
A number of Class 800 series Hitachi trains in use by several train companies have been withdrawn from service for precautionary safety checks. The decision to withdraw the trains had been taken because of cracks found on the metal that linked the train’s body with the bogie.
The result has been mass cancellations, with trains being taken out of service.
Let us see how the operators are getting on… or not as the case may be.
Great Western Railway
GWR expects disruption to continue on Sunday 9 May, and into the following week. The train company is working on new timetables to rush in as soon as they can.
The train operator is running local services, however, they are expecting them to be busy. Long-distance services will not operate.
Customers with tickets for long-distance services are advised not to travel on Sunday 9 May and refunds will be provided.
For GWR customers, Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.
London North Eastern Railway
LNER is advising its passengers not to travel on Sunday 9 May. Your tickets dated for travel on Saturday 8 or Sunday 9 May will be valid for travel up to and including, Sunday 16 May.
If you choose to travel between Monday 10 May and Sunday 16 May, please travel as close to the time on your ticket as possible. Please note that you must make a reservation before travelling. To make a reservation, please click here. If you’re not able to travel between Monday 10 May and Sunday 16 May, you’ll be entitled to a refund. Find out how to claim here.
LNER tickets will be valid with the following train operating companies:
- ScotRail between Aberdeen and Edinburgh
- Avanti West Coast between London Euston and Manchester for customers with an open ticket
- TransPennine Express between Manchester, Leeds and York
- East Midlands Railway between London St Pancras International and Sheffield
- Northern services via any other reasonable route
- Thameslink services between London, Stevenage and Peterborough
- CrossCountry between Leeds, York and Edinburgh
Rail replacement coaches are in operation at York, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and also between Doncaster and Peterborough.
There is a shuttle service between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle.
Transpennine Express is starting to start reintroducing our Nova 1 trains back into service after an investigation and checks by manufacturer Hitachi.
The train company has ticket acceptance in place with other operators and tickets will also be valid for 9th May. Anyone who chooses not to travel can claim a refund from their point of purchase.
After checks, First Hull Trains are operating services as normal.
Delay travel until Monday at least
With a lot of trains to inspect, it’s going to take time to ensure they are safe to travel on. In a statement, Hitachi says:
🇬🇧 An update from our team – we understand the frustration caused and we would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to passengers and operators pic.twitter.com/1GgDUUZIgu— Hitachi Rail (ENG) (@HitachiRailENG) May 8, 2021
For now, if you have travel plans along the Great Western route, or the East Coast Main Line requiring the use of Intercity services, you may wish to delay your travels. It’s going to be a hot mess until trains are released as safe for travel.
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