There is severe disruption to GWR services in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire with many of the company's high speed trains taken out of service for safety checks after a crack was found in more than one train. Passengers are advised not to travel. In a statement the operator says the firm 'Hitachi', which built the affected trains, is making a number of checks as a precaution.
The withdrawal from service comes after a number of GWR trains developed cracks in their suspension. Further examination revealed more cracks and the decision was made to pull the trains from service for more inspections to take place.
Last month six trains were taken out of service for similar problems but at that time services were not affected.
A decision on when the high speed trains being inspected will be returned to the schedules will be taken later.
A source as the train builder 'Hitachi' said: “Cracks were found and what we want to avoid is the prospect of anything falling off that could be a safety risk. The trains will only be back in service when we are certain they are safe.”
A number of long distance train services to and from Paddington have been cancelled. The GWR website says that ... 'Owing to the short notice unavailability of carriages which form our High Speed train services there will be no train service or only an extremely limited service with no alternative means of transport available for throughout journeys, in either direction, on the following routes' :
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.
London Paddington - Swindon - Bath Spa - Bristol Temple Meads
London Paddington - Swindon - Bristol Parkway - Newport - Cardiff Central - Swansea.
Passengers hoping to travel on the routes below are being asked not to attempt to travel:
Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.