SEVERE disruption continues on the rails this morning after cracks were found in high speed trains.

Great Western Railway, which operates services between Hereford and London Paddington, said a number of Class 800 series Hitachi trains in use by several train companies have been withdrawn from service for precautionary safety checks.

A significant number of long-distance train services were cancelled on Saturday 8 May and disruption is continuing into this week.

Owing to the short notice unavailability of carriages which form Great Western Railway High Speed train services, there will be a limited service in place across the main line routes.

Great Western Railway have had to adapt many of their High Speed service timetables into a series of separate shuttle services. This has been done to ensure that they can advertise and operate a limited but robust service using all available resources. As a result, certain journeys which were previously direct train services will now require one or more changes of train to cover the same journey.

Customers travelling between Hereford and London Paddington will have the option of a revised train service, which will operate along the route between Reading and Worcester route using alternative carriages.

Customers may use the following alternatives:

  • CrossCountry between Reading and Oxford
  • Chiltern Railways services between London Marylebone and Oxford
  • Avanti West Coast between London Euston and Birmingham New Street
  • West Midlands Railway services between Birmingham New Street and Worcester / Great Malvern / Hereford
  • London Underground via any reasonable route

The problem continues to be investigated by Hitachi and once trains have been checked and cleared, and GWR said they hope to be able to release them back into service as soon as possible. A further update will be provided in due course.