05:35PM, Monday 16 October 2017
Photo: Great Western Railway
Delays, leaky ceilings and broken doors plagued the launch of Great Western Railway’s (GWR) new fleet of trains.
This morning (Monday), commuters were supposed to be treated to the firm’s latest addition – the Hitachi Class 800 Intercity Express.
The grand unveiling was due to leave Bristol for London Paddington at 6am, but was about half an hour late getting going.
Morning Phil. Not sure but it's towards the back? First one of your new trains and it's 25 mins late and windows are leaking! #GWRNewTrains— Craig McCrum (@craigmccrum) October 16, 2017
And passengers, many of whom were left standing despite promises of increased seating capacity, were later treated to more delays after the service ground to a halt at Taplow. Problems for rail operator GWR didn’t stop there, with seats roped off after an air conditioning unit started leaking, unreliable doors and patchy Wi-Fi coverage among other problems.
It even prompted an apology from Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail, the firm which made the trains.
We're sorry - and we will do better.— Hitachi Rail Europe (@HitachiRailEU) October 16, 2017
Karen Boswell, Hitachi Rail MD, apologises to passengers for problems on the train from Bristol today pic.twitter.com/ocREKpHAFS
The new trains are billed as having 24 per cent more seating capacity than the high speed train they replaced, as well as increased legroom and luggage space.
GWR said it is the biggest fleet update on the line in 40 years and a new timetable will be introduced once its electrification programme has been completed in 2019.
*The article has been updated to clarify the first services were not scheduled to stop in Maidenhead.
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