Great Western Railway's (GWR) new high-speed train, Intercity Express, failed to impress passengers on its very first outing, with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and other dignitaries on board.
The train, first of a £5.7bn fleet assembled for commuters, was hit by an approximate delay of 40 minutes as well as faulty air conditioning, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Built by Hitachi, the brand new train was supposed to leave Bristol Temple Meads for London Paddington at 6:00am but could not get started until 6:25am owing to "technical issues". It was further delayed en-route.
Passengers also had to deal with leaks from the air conditioning unit. Commuters vacated their seats to dodge water dripping from the AC.
Ultimately, they had to complete the journey in an uncomfortable environment with the air conditioning turned off. Several passengers took to Twitter to express their frustration.
The Intercity Express runs on both electric and diesel power and is expected to provide passengers speed and comfort with more seats, shorter journey times and better services. GWR will replace its dated fleet of Intercity 125s with 57 such trains, according to a report in the Guardian.
Before boarding the train on its maiden journey, Grayling hailed the new service saying, "These are the smartest trains in the country, probably the best we have ever had in the country. This is going to be a fantastic service, really regular trains and far more capacity."
Karen Boswell, Hitachi Rail Europe MD, had to apologise to passengers as the first trip didn't turn out as it was supposed to. "I want to say to passengers that we are really sorry that the first service from Bristol didn't go as planned today."
"I was actually on the train and the delay and water leak meant that it was not the standard of service we expect and are known for. We can and will do better." A spokesperson for Hitachi said the company will investigate the problem thoroughly.