'Teething problems' for new GWR train to Wales

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

She added: "We are really proud to have built trains in the United Kingdom, designed using Japanese bullet train technology, which are improving passengers' journeys on the Great Western route".

"This was not to a standard that Hitachi expects and is known for", she added.

Some 122 of the new Class 800 Hitachi trains are due to be in service on GWR and Virgin Trains East Coast services by 2020, replacing the Intercity 125 fleet.

But the inaugural service from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington arrived 40 minutes late after twice being delayed.

It added: "We are of course disappointed with an issue with this train's air conditioning and water ingress in one of the carriages".

The Department for Transport says the new trains will cut journey times, increase the number of seats and services, and be more comfortable.

Overhead cables for the electric trains have yet to reach Bristol due to budget cuts and delays, so the trains now have to run on diesel from Maidenhead to Temple Meads.

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"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.

The new trains are capable of travelling at 148mph (240km/h), and will eventually replace the current Intercity engines, but are now restricted to speeds of 125mph (200km/h).

It represented an inauspicious start to the introduction of the trains built by Hitachi, which the government said were the "best we have ever had" in Britain.

Many had to stand, despite claims that capacity was 20 per cent higher on the new trains.

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