Latest Rail News

17.10.18

Paddington: New GWR Hitachi train takes down rail network whilst on its test run

A brand-new test train has “severely damaged” overhead electric wires, causing massive disruption to all trains going into and out of London Paddington.

One of Great Western Railway’s (GWR’s) new fleet of Hitachi trains was responsible for damaging 500m of the cables near Ealing Broadway on Tuesday night during a test run.

The TOC is now operating a reduced service in and out of London Paddington whilst repairs are being carried out, with trains between Paddington and Slough and Heathrow only just resuming.

The high-speed Class 802 train was on a test run around 10pm Tuesday, running from London to Bristol depot when it ripped into the overhead wires, bringing them down.

The operator said: “We strongly advise customers to only travel if necessary in the Thames Valley area, and to check carefully before traveling elsewhere as long-distance journeys are likely to be affected.

“Owing to the extent of the damage, no trains are expected to be able to operate between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington in either direction for much of Wednesday.”

A Hitachi spokesperson added that “after years of successful testing on the route” it was holding “a full and thorough investigation” to identify the cause of the damage.

The Japanese giant is introducing the new hi-tech trains on the mainline between London and Devon, with several already coming into service.

GWR launched the fleet with a media run between Penzance and Exeter back in August, and the 36-strong batch of Hitachi bi-mode trains will be running between Paddington, Exeter, Paignton, Plymouth and Penzance.

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Image credit - Tess De La Mare/PA Wire/PA Images

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