New Azuma trains to start on East Coast Mainline
The first Azuma train will enter passenger service on the East Coast route tomorrow from London King’s Cross to Leeds, passing through Grantham.
LNER's first Azuma service is due to arrive at Leeds at 1.16pm before returning south for the inaugural Leeds to London King’s Cross service departing at 1.45pm.
The Azuma train will be the first of 65 new trains to replace the existing fleet of 45 trains operated by LNER on the East Coast route which connects destinations in Scotland, North East England, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
David Horne, managing director of LNER, said: “Setting new benchmarks in rail travel is part of our DNA, and the new Azuma trains are the next big step for LNER in making the customer experience the best that it can be. They will transform travel with improved reliability, greater levels of comfort and an average of 100 more seats on every train compared to the current fleet.
“From extra leg-room and improved WiFi to being more environmentally friendly and accessible to more people, the Azuma experience is a real revolution in rail travel.”
Azuma trains boast a dedicated ‘Let’s Eat Cafe Bar’ as well as a trolley service in Standard Class. Customers in First Class will enjoy complimentary two-course meals freshly prepared in the onboard kitchens using locally sourced ingredients.
First Class also includes larger tables, reclining seats and USB and plug sockets at every seat. A new traffic light seat reservation system alongside clear digital displays above seats in First and Standard Class will make it easy for customers to find reserved or available seats on-board.
The new Azuma trains are part of the Government’s £5.7billion Intercity Express Programme which will modernise LNER services on the key intercity route used by more than 22 million people each year.
The Azuma trains are built by Hitachi Rail in County Durham and embrace Japanese bullet train technology with award-winning interior design.