The first Azuma train for London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has been put into commercial operation on May 15, on London – Leeds route. starting May 16, Hull will be the first destination to run entirely with Azuma trains, which will replace the daily HST train.
This Hitachi-built Azuma train is the first of 65 new trains to replace operator’s existing fleet of 45 trains which run along the 1500 km of track between Scotland, North East England, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
“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,” David Horne, Managing Director of LNER, said.
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.
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).
The trains are being built Hitachi Rail in County Durham, based on Japanese bullet train technology, award-winning interior design centred on providing the best possible environment for customers.
“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,” Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail, said.
Other new Azuma trains will enter services in the coming months in North East of England and Scotland. Later this year the new train will arrive at Harrogate and Lincoln.