Last night, Mark Hopwood, the Managing Director of Great Western Railways gave Kennet Radio this update on the trains situation, following Saturday’s widespread cancellation of rail services due to technical issues with some trains:
(Here is an update) on the situation with our long distance trains. Hitachi investigations continue and they are working hard to put remedial plans in place. For now however, it is clear that we will need to operate without the vast majority of our Intercity Express Trains (today – Monday 10th May).
Our advice therefore remains not to travel on our long distance routes. Refunds can be claimed through our website www.gwr.com, or tickets can be used for travel on services later this week or at the weekend.
Local, branch and regional services are unaffected.
We are working on options that will help us to operate a limited long distance timetable. It will be much reduced, but we are looking at every option to see what can be done to keep customers moving.
This includes looking at trains that might be available and can be moved from other parts of the country, including Charter trains, using buses for some journeys, agreeing ticket acceptance on other train services and making the best use of our other fleets including extending the use of our Thames Valley electric fleet to Swindon.
Details of the revised timetable will be entered into journey planners by Network Rail and should be in place from midnight tonight, we will also provide updates on our website www.gwr.com We have brought more staff into stations and onto our social media platforms to help with advice and we will do our best to keep everyone informed.
We are very grateful for the messages of support for our teams as they work to put new arrangements in place. It will be challenging and it is likely to mean that those trains that are in service are busy.
As soon as we have more news from Hitachi on when the IETs will be back in service we will update you.
Mark Hopwood | Managing Director | Great Western Railway
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