Signalling issues hamper East Coast IETs

ELECTROMAGNETIC interference from new Hitachi Class 800/801s is causing problems with signalling and control equipment on the East Coast Main Line north of York, forcing the trains to operate on diesel power until a solution is found.

Extensive test running has been underway for more than two years, but as the planned introduction of the trains by LNER draws closer, solutions are now being sought by Network Rail and Hitachi after problems were exposed during multi-train testing.

Being prepared for use on the East Coast Main Line are Hitachi IET sets Nos. 800101/102, which pass Doncaster on the through road during testing on September 14. GEOFF GRIFFITHS

Network Rail said: “We are committed to delivering improved passenger services and are working on a long-term solution. In the meantime, the new trains continue to be tested on the East Coast Main Line.”

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NR says it still expects the new trains to be introduced in December, although industry sources suggest delivery and testing of the LNER bi-modes is running behind schedule because of delays in delivering trains for GWR.

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