Fault delays new high-speed train's first journey from Bristol to London

The first UK-built Intercity Express train was unveiled at the Hitachi Rail Europe factory in Newton Aycliffe County Durham last December

Not the best start for the launch of the UK's new fleet of high-speed trains, made in the United Kingdom by Hitachi, which promise to cut journey times, increase the number of seats and services, and be more comfortable.

"I am very sorry and disappointed that today's first passenger train from Bristol encountered technical issues, causing a delay to the service and an air conditioning issue which resulted in water entering the carriage rather than being discharged externally", said Karen Boswell, managing director, Hitachi Rail Europe.

Grayling said: "These new state-of-the-art trains will carry people across Britain, from Swansea to Aberdeen and London to Inverness".

The Great Western Railway service, which counted transport minister Chris Grayling among its first passengers, departed 25 minutes late from Bristol Temple Meads this morning.

"We are investigating this as a matter of priority and will restore the train back into passenger service once fully rectified".

The maiden journey for the train eventually arrived over 40 minutes late, entitling fare-paying passengers to claim compensation for the delay. Nine years of hard work has gone into the development of the new train, from creating a brand new factory and workforce.

More than 70 percent of the parts sourced for building the trains at the facility come from British suppliers.

"This going to be a fantastic service, really regular trains and far more capacity".

"This was not to a standard that Hitachi expects and is known for", she said "We can and will do better".

Five other journeys were completed on the new service today, all without incident.

The new trains will operate initially between South Wales and London Paddington, and between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington.

"Over the next year we will continue to expand the operation of these new trains..."

In total, 36×5 carriage and 21×9 carriage Class 800 trains, and 22×5 carriage and 14×9 carriage Class 802 trains will be delivered, with the full fleet due in service by December 2018.

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