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Hitachi train cracks rattle UK high-speed rail networks

Flaws hit mainstay of Japanese company's rail operations

Hitachi's rolling stock plant at Newton Aycliffe, U.K. (Photo by Tomoya Ushiyama)

TOKYO -- Hitachi has taken all of its Class 800 rolling stock out of service after cracks were found in multiple trains in the U.K., disrupting high-speed rail service there and casting a shadow on the Japanese manufacturer's overseas infrastructure business.

The damage to lifting points on the underside of the trains was discovered Saturday during routine inspections. The metal parts are used in hoisting trains for maintenance and have no effect on regular operations, according to Hitachi.

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