Minister intervenes on GWR services
GWR are still saying passengers on services to and from Bristol, Taunton, Castle Cary and Paddington should not travel. The disruption comes after cracks were found in Hitachi train units. these had to be withdrawn from service to allow safety checks to be carried out. Today is the second full day of disruption to the service.
GWR has not updated travel information to cover travel from Monday 10 May. Currently the online booking system allows bookings of trains to and from Paddington. It is not providing any warning of travel disruption at this time. However we understand that the disruption IS EXPECTED to continue into Monday. You are advised to check the situation before you set off.
This afternoon, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris intervened. He has requested a comprehensive plan from Hitachi. He asks that they identify the extent of the cracking and whether carriages can still run safely with them. As far as The Leveller® can tell, this was already happening. The exact point of the Ministerial intervention is not clear.
The Office of the Rail and Road Regulator will be closely involved in overseeing this work. It is briefed with ensuring any issues are rapidly resolved. The industry has also been asked to deliver a clear rail replacement schedule. This to include additional bus and coach services that will be in place to help alleviate disruption.
This has not happened across the weekend. Advice from GWR has been not to travel although some sporadic services have gone ahead and there was a shuttle service between Swindon and Bristol. However exact train times and arrangements have been hard to come by.