Home News South West to be hit by GWR train chaos all week

South West to be hit by GWR train chaos all week

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The South West is set to be hit by cancellations to Great Western Railway services into next week, the operator has confirmed.

GWR first confirmed on Saturday morning (May 8) that services had been withdrawn at short notice after a crack was discovered in a train.

This has led to key routes from London Paddington serving Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Taunton and other parts of the country being suspended until further notice while safety checks are carried out.

A statement released by GWR this morning (May 10) said a number of trains had been withdrawn for “precautionary safety checks” and that disruption is expected to continue “into the following week”, indicating problems could persist into the week beginning May 17.

Local services operated by GWR are still running at this stage, although the operator has warned they are expected to be very busy and that train replacement services are “extremely limited”.

The statement said: “A number of Class 800 Hitachi trains have been withdrawn from service for precautionary safety checks.

“As a result a significant number of long-distance services will be cancelled on Monday May 10 and disruption is expected to continue into the following week.



Sign at Temple Meads Station in Bristol warning passengers of the cancellation of all trains to London
Sign at Temple Meads Station in Bristol warning passengers of the cancellation of all trains to London

“Customers with tickets for long-distance services are advised not to travel.

“While local services are running, we expect them to be very busy. Rail replacement services are extremely limited.

“Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for GWR tickets to be accepted for these journeys.”

It was also confirmed that refunds would be provided for those whose journeys have been scrapped.

The following long-distance routes are currently either completely cancelled or extremely limited as of Monday (May 10):

  • London Paddington – Swindon – Bath Spa – Bristol Temple Meads
  • London Paddington – Swindon – Bristol Parkway – Newport – Cardiff Central – Swansea
  • London Paddington – Reading – Taunton – Exeter St Davids – Plymouth – Penzance
  • London Paddington – Reading – Oxford – Evesham – Worcester – Great Malvern – Hereford
  • London Paddington – Reading – Swindon – Gloucester – Cheltenham Spa

Both GWR and the Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, stated over the weekend that all trains being checked would be released back into service when their safety was confirmed.

Mr Heaton-Harris said on Saturday: “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.”

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