Hitachi trains withdrawn in UK over cracks

NEWYTON AYCLIFFE: In this file photo taken on Dec 9, 2016, the first Hitachi Intercity Express Program train (IEP) is unveiled during a press event at Hitachi’s manufacturing plant in northeast England. – AFP

LONDON: Four UK train operators on Saturday pulled a number of Hitachi high-speed trains from long-distance routes after cracks were discovered, causing widespread disruption. Hitachi says there are 181 of the Class 800 Series trains running throughout the UK. They can travel at up to 225 km per hour.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris tweeted that “rigorous checks” were being carried out after “cracks were identified on the chassis of some Hitachi trains this morning”. “Disruption is likely to continue for some time to come,” he said. The Class 800 series aluminum trains are made in northeastern England.

National Rail said the checks were a precautionary measure, adding: “Once trains have been checked, they will be released back into service as soon as possible.” A spokesperson for Great Western Railway said: “There’s a crack that’s been spotted and as a result of that – as a precaution – we’re checking all the trains.” Another affected operator, Hull Trains, said it was resuming normal services after thorough checks. The government funded the $5.7 billion program to deliver the “pioneering trains”. – AFP


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