Rail disruption set to continue into next week after train cracks found


Travel disruption caused by the discovery of cracks in some high-speed trains is expected to continue into next week, a rail industry group has warned.

Robert Nisbet, of the Rail Delivery Group, said initial inspections of 183 trains taken out of service on Saturday should conclude by the end of Sunday.

But he warned that disruption was expected to “carry on for a few days”.

Two of the UK’s busiest rail firms are warning people not to travel on Sunday.

On Saturday Hitachi 800 trains operated by Great Western Railway (GWR) and London North Eastern Railway (LNER) trains were taken out of service for safety inspections.

Hull Trains and TransPennine Express were also affected.

Hitachi has apologised and said it was investigating the issue.

Andrew Barr, CEO of Hitachi Rail, said the decision to withdraw the trains had been taken because of cracks found on the metal that linked the train’s body with the underside of the train, known as the bogie.

Mr Nisbet, whose organisation represents train operators and Network Rail, apologised to anyone affected by the disruption.

He told BBC Breakfast that rail firms were running as many services as possible, including rail replacement services, in addition to putting on extra staff at affected stations, relaxing ticket acceptance rules and offering compensation for delays.

Mr Nisbet said it was “gratifying to see the speed” at which initial inspections were taking place and he understood that Hitachi engineers would complete these inspections by the end of Sunday.

But he cautioned that he was still “expecting some disruption to carry on for a few days”.

He said: “It’s impossible for me to say exactly how long that is going to take, we are obviously going through this as quickly as possible but we don’t want to rush it.

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