Azuma has arrived on the iconic east coast route
Our world-class Azuma trains arrive today (15 May) travelling between London King’s Cross and Leeds.
This Azuma train will be the first of 65 new trains to replace our existing fleet of 45 trains which run along the 940 miles of track between Scotland, North East England, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
David Horne, Managing Director of LNER, said: “The launch of the first Azuma trains is a truly momentous event for LNER and the communities that we serve.
“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 Wi-Fi to being more environmentally friendly and accessible to more people, the Azuma experience is a real revolution in rail travel.”
What makes Azuma our best train ever?
The onboard experience is a significant improvement for all customers. Every Azuma train has a Let’s Eat Cafe Bar and will still include the at-seat trolley service in Standard. Customers in First Class will enjoy a complimentary two-course meal freshly prepared in the onboard kitchens using locally sourced ingredients.
First Class includes larger tables, reclining seats and USB and plug sockets at every seat. The seats have been designed to maximise comfort and support posture.
There’s a new traffic light seat reservation system above seats in Standard and First Class which will make it easy for customers to find reserved or available seats onboard.
There’s also our fastest free Wi-Fi ever and plugs at every seat and blinds on every window in Standard. You’ll also experience a more comfortable journey with an additional 7cm of legroom at every seat.
Read more about the great benefits of the new Azuma trains here.
Where were the Azuma trains built?
Built by Hitachi Rail in County Durham, the trains embrace Japanese bullet train technology with award-winning interior design centred on providing the best possible environment for our customers.
Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail, said: “Hitachi-built Azumas will truly transform the passenger experience on the East Coast mainline, offering extra seats, greater reliability and more journeys.
“Azuma may look like a Japanese bullet train, but underneath it is very British, with over 70 per cent of parts sourced from the surrounding areas of our factory.”
From Thursday 16 May, Hull will be the first destination to run entirely with Azuma trains. Azuma will replace the daily HST train at 07:00 with the return train from London King’s Cross at 17:18 also being an Azuma.
When is Azuma coming to the North East and Scotland?
The North East of England and Scotland will welcome Azuma trains in the coming months as the rollout of our 65 new trains takes place. Later this year Azuma will arrive at Harrogate and Lincoln with more trains than ever before, and with more seats we’ll be offering more great-value fares.
A new timetable is taking place from December 2021 which means we’ll have even more regular journeys between London and Edinburgh. These will typically take just four hours, and regular journeys between London and Leeds in two hours will become typical throughout the day.
Investment in the East Coast mainline
£780million has also been invested across the East Coast mainline to modernise the hundreds of miles of infrastructure and improve platforms to support the rollout of the trains. Further upgrade works to tracks at London King’s Cross will enable the faster, more frequent journeys the Azuma trains can achieve.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that passengers are now able to travel on the new Azuma trains and we look forward to them reaping the benefits.
“The new trains are a very visible part of the massive investment the rail industry is making to allow more and faster journeys for passengers on the East Coast mainline. Bringing Azuma into service has been a real team effort between our engineers and the teams at LNER and Hitachi and we continue to work together so that passengers in the North East and Scotland can enjoy them as soon as possible.”
Azuma trains are more environmentally friendly
The environmental benefits of the new trains are transformational. Azumas will run using overhead electric wires for most routes. However, even when running under diesel power, the train’s modern engines will cut harmful emissions by 90 per cent compared to existing High Speed Trains (HSTs).
Thanks to Azuma technology, communities and stations across the route will benefit from cleaner air and substantially quieter trains.
LNER teams have undertaken months of training and development to ensure customers can continue to enjoy the high standards of service expected from us and we’re delighted to welcome you onboard our trains as we begin our travel transformation.
Experience Azuma now – watch and explore the new trains here.