Hitachi new trains fiasco.

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adam2
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Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

I never did think much of these new trains.
Most of them have been withdrawn for "safety checks" after cracks found in the structure, in two different areas on the trains.
Fatigue cracks only about 10% into the design life of these new trains is a bit worrying.

Passengers advised not to travel on routes affected.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57036247
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by kenneal - lagger »

This is one in eye for the idea of Japanese reliability. It also questions the advisability of having a large proportion of your fleet from one manufacturer.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

Agree.
Today only 5 of the new trains are available out of a total fleet of 78 for Paddington/west country services.
They were hoping for about 10, but more failed overnight.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

Tomorrow, THREE of the new trains are expected to be available, out of a total fleet of about 78.

A rather bad taste joke is circulating about "an emergency delivery of swords to hitachi UK headquarters, for falling on"
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

No improvement, only two out of about 80 new GWR trains available today.
Advice not to travel on long distance GWR services remains.

GWR are looking for replacement trains but so far have only located three AFAIK.

The official line in press releases and statements seems to be that trains "can be returned to use after inspection" Though all the GWR ones HAVE BEEN inspected and all but two found wanting.

Latest joke is a small group of orange clad engineers inspecting a cracked train and saying "see it, say it, scrap it"
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by kenneal - lagger »

There must be a shortage of welders. Maybe that's because they are all looking for cracks in trains. Perhaps they ought to put some of the welders on repairing the cracks already found and some to looking for more cracks.

I would hate to see Hitachi's bill for all this. Maybe we can get a free nuclear power station off them in lieu of payment!!
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

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The cracked parts are aluminium, which is very challenging to weld. I can do basic electric "farm welding" of mild steel as can many people, but would not consider auminium welding.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

Zero new GWR trains in use today. Advice not to travel remains.
The daily update from GWR now admits that disruption "could continue for several days" A change from the previous announcements that stated that "disruption could continue into the next day"
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by Potemkin Villager »

adam2 wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 6:16 pm I never did think much of these new trains.
I would be most interested to know exactly why you never thought much about these trains.
Surely nothing to do with them being made in Japan?
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

I "never thought much of them" for several reasons.

No buffet car, a facility that should in my view be provided on all long distance trains.
Often too short. Most of the fleet are 5 car with only a minority of 9 car.
Hard and uncomfortable seats.
Noise and vibration from underfloor engines, acceptable for local services, but not for inter city.
Few seats at tables.
Very limited space for luggage, carriage of cycles restricted, surfboards prohibited.
Failure to cope with high seas at Dawlish.
General unreliability resulting in many half length trains in the rush hour.

Apart from the above they are not too bad.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by Potemkin Villager »

Yes they don't sound very user friendly though some improvements could
have been made with a better fit out spec - guess everything was cut back to the
most basic and cheapest options.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by BritDownUnder »

I did a bit of looking up and these trains are assembled from kits in Newton Aycliffe. Not sure where the welding is done - or where the kit come from. I worked on a site where the steam turbine boiler was not welded to spec. Getting every weld fixed (not sure how but re welding and heat treating was mentioned) was a bit of a pain as literally every weld had to have a certificate of inspection done on it.

I agree a buffet car is a must. Australian long distance trains have them and even the slow train from Sydney to my town sells nice take away meals that you can eat at your seat.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

The kits came from japan, for assembly in the UK, this allowed HMG to trumpet "a return of train building to the UK"
Some of the welding was done in japan, some in the UK.

Today four of the new trains have returned to service, not after any repairs, but after the cracks to be acceptable, subject to frequent inspection.
Four out of approx. eighty is not impressive.
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Re: Hitachi new trains fiasco.

Post by adam2 »

This is now yesterdays news, but the problem has not gone away.
About one third of the total fleet is out of use with cracks, and about two thirds are in use, many of them with cracks that require frequent inspection.

No timetable for repairs.

At present a great many trains are cancelled due to staff shortage, and this is "hiding" the lack of serviceable trains.
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