Virgin working on routes for new trains

800101 at London King's Cross on March 18. JACK BOSKETT.

Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) is working on which routes to introduce its Class 800 Azuma fleet on from 2018.

VTEC spokesman Nicola Burton told RAIL: “This sort of detail will be finalised as we moved closer to introducing the new fleet.”

VTEC’s fleet enters traffic from 2018, replacing its diesel High Speed Train fleet and Class 91 electric fleet.

When in traffic, VTEC will have 65 Azumas. The fleet will consist of 13 nine-car bi-mode trains, ten five-car bi-mode trains, 12 five-car electric multiple units and 30 nine-car electric trains. 

  • For more on the Azumas, read RAIL 797, published on March 30.

IN PICTURES: Virgin launches new Azuma Class 800. Gallery

Click a thumbnail to view all the images in the gallery.

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  • BigTone - 23/03/2016 12:22

    I hope VTEC take advantage of the incoming trains to expand services before standing down any of the current fleet

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    • FrankH - 23/03/2016 13:45

      You would think so, ideal for driver training also. Did you notice the stock list said trains apart from the 5 car electric sets which are multiple units, they must be for the local work to Leeds and Bradford.

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      • BigTone - 23/03/2016 22:15

        I know Northern are getting some 3 coach EMUs for that area. They are supposed to run in pairs to give 6 coach trains for the Leeds, Bradford, Skipton route. As far as I know,the 5 car EMUs are just a short version of the 9 coach units

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  • 7D3 - 23/03/2016 21:20

    Hope the 800 Azuma and the 801 doesn't kill out the HST and the Intercity 225 from the East Coast. Both of them belong on the East Coast. Picture 4 shows how big the VTEC Family can be. I would love to see all 3 generations of the East Coast express traction on the same line, History and Morden, Together.

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    • BigTone - 24/03/2016 14:11

      Virgin are hanging on to 8 Class 91 sets. It is proposed to use them on a proposed limited stop Edinburgh service.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 26/03/2016 17:20

    Well the VTEC Azuma Class 800, Class 801 and Class 802 trains will be used on London King's Cross-Edinburgh Waverley, Newcastle, York, Leeds, Sunderland and Aberdeen with future VTEC services from London King's Cross to Lincoln, Scarborough, Grimsby, Hartlepool, Dundee and Wick.

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    • BigTone - 29/03/2016 18:16

      VTEC are not down to receive 802s. So far only GWR (22 five car units and 7 nine car units) and Hull Trains (5 five car units). I know Lincoln is on the cards, I just hope they are going onwards to Grimsby which will give much more capacity than a single Class 153. I understand VTEC have plans to go to Huddersfield

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      • FrankH - 06/04/2016 17:25

        If they go to Grimsby they might as well go the whole hog and do Cleethorpes as well.

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  • richard whitehead - 28/07/2016 14:35

    I find it strange and very short sighted that VTEC is taking 5 and 9 car units. We have only to look at the example on Virgin West Coast where Pendilino units had to be strengthened by two additional coaches and then not the whole fleet. This not only creating operational difficulties but also the current increase in second class accommodation at the expense of the first class accommodation at a time when rail travel in general is increasing and I suspect that first class travel with certain operators, because of their premium offering is increasing faster.. Surely it is more cost effective to build longer trains and fill them rather than ,if possible, extend the sets at a later date

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  • richard whitehead - 28/07/2016 15:08

    I find it strange and very short sighted that VTEC is taking 5 and 9 car units. We have only to look at the example on Virgin West Coast where Pendilino units had to be strengthened by two additional coaches and then not the whole fleet. This not only creating operational difficulties but also the current increase in second class accommodation at the expense of the first class accommodation at a time when rail travel in general is increasing and I suspect that first class travel with certain operators, because of their premium offering is increasing faster.. Surely it is more cost effective to build longer trains and fill them rather than ,if possible, extend the sets at a later date

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