Recovery plan allows some IETs and ‘385s’ to re-enter traffic

A service recovery plan agreed by Hitachi Rail, train operators and the government means some Class 80x and 385 trains can re-enter traffic following their withdrawal from service on May 7/8 over concerns about cracks in jacking points.

Although Hull Trains, ScotRail and TransPennine Express were able to resume running trains, GWR and LNER services have been heavily disrupted due to unavailability of much of the Intercity Express Train Fleet.

Extensive checks involving Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate, GWR and LNER mean that some IETs can return to traffic, although passengers are being advised to check travel advice from their train operator.

Following extensive investigation, Hitachi, train operators and the Office of Rail and Road have created criteria for trains to meet before they can re-enter service. It includes thorough inspections by specialist teams before trains leave their depot. The ORR will carry out what it terms ‘rigorous oversight’ to ensure the processes are being followed.

In the longer term, the trains will be subject to a Forward Repair Plan, although there are no details about how the issue will be fixed.