This morning GWR have announced a roadmap (if a rail company can have one of those) back to normal service. Since identifying cracks in the train units, Hitachi Rail engineers have completed rigorous tests and research. They claim to have gained a clearer understanding of the cracking issue, they are not as yet saying what the cause was.
Hitachi Rail and train operators, working with the rail regulator, agreed criteria for trains to meet to re-enter service. This includes thorough inspections by specialist teams before trains leave the depot. Trains will only re-enter service if they meet agreed safety criteria.
GWR will now begin reintroducing trains with a more regular service for passengers. Trains on some routes may be less frequent than usual. Train availability could vary, for a number of reasons. Passengers should continue to check the service before they travel. Eligible passengers are also being encouraged to claim refunds.
Further steps being taken include:
- Offering passengers the option of using other train operators’ routes at no additional cost where they offer an alternative way for people to make their journeys.
- Using alternative trains to run shuttle services, including CrossCountry Trains running a service from Bristol to Swindon, from where passengers can catch a GWR train for their onward journey.
- GWR has extended Thames Valley services to Swindon.