TROUBLED train operator Northern rail was left red-faced after one of its new trains broke down with the secretary of state for transport on board.

Grant Shapps was left stranded, for around six minutes, after an onboard computer glitch brought the newly introduced Class 331 locomotive to a halt.

The trains are part of a fleet of replacements for the much derided pacers trains, which were introduced in the mid 1980s.

Mr Shapps was travelling to Manchester, from London, for a transport summit on Tuesday, February 11.

The operator is set to lose its franchise next month after Mr Shapps blasted its performance, saying its services are not "anywhere near acceptable”.

A Northern spokesperson said: “Our new trains, which are introduced with full support from manufacturer CAF, all go through rigorous testing before they enter service on our network.

"But, the new trains are technically complex, delivering WiFi, at-seat charging, live customer information screens, air conditioning and provide real-time information to our control room.

"This complexity, whilst providing so many benefits, means the new trains are likely to experience teething troubles as they bed-in.

“Those new trains introduced last summer, which have been through bedding-in process, are more and more reliable with every month they are in service.”