TRAINS from London Paddington to Reading have been cancelled after cracks were found in Hitachi carriages. 

A number of Class 800 series Hitachi trains in use by several train companies, including Great Western Railway, have been withdrawn from service for precautionary safety checks. 

As a result, GWR has cancelled a “significant number” of long-distance train services on Sunday 9 May. 

Cancellations could also last into next week.  

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Local services are running, however, but GWR expects them to be very busy. 

Customers are advised not to travel on Sunday 9 May and refunds will be provided where bookings have been made. 

The problem continues to be investigated by Hitachi and once trains have been checked and cleared, GWR hopes to be able to release them back into service as soon as possible.

Affected journeys where no service, or only an extremely limited service, include:

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.

Customers for these routes are advised not to travel. 

Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. 

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Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.

Mick Lynch, of Rail Union RMT, said: “RMT is fully aware of the issues that have led to the cancellation of services on LNER today and that similar problems with cracks appearing in the fleet on Great Western are also emerging. 
"Hitachi needs to ensure the highest safety standards and properly investigate and rectify the issues.”